Various Artists – You Will Never Hear from Us Again

Various Artists
You Will Never Hear from Us Again

The greatest thing about the compilations that Pehr releases is how little they sound like compilations. While there is obvious joy in finding the few gems on your average compilation from the pile of mundane, sound-alike music, there is also great pleasure in finding bands that are diverse and yet still can provide a consistent listen throughout. And while it’s obvious there’s more than one band on this release, the songs flow together so beautifully that it makes for an amazing release.

It’s also important to note the theme. I love theme compilations. On this one, 11 bands contribute instrumentals that attempt to interpret death musically. Judging by that, you might guess you’re not up for an up-beat, happy group of songs, but neither do you get 11 mournful dirges. Rather, these bands all contribute glorious, amazingly intricate works that fall between the spectrum of Mogwai and Godspeed You Black Emperor! and Cerberus Shoal. There is no lack of instrumentation used here. Each song is a long, textured, complete work, intricate in detail and yet energizing enough to keep you listening.

Of the bands included, I’ve only heard of a few. But the bands range from the more subtle, slightly ambient to the more detailed math-rock style of instrumental, and they’re perfectly placed to maintain the flow throughout. Timonium start things off with “Californian,” a song that starts with very quiet, almost ambient-like electronics and light, sparse guitar, and it flows nicely into “Master of Victories” by Giardini Di Miro, which uses more rock instrumentation for a sort of slow-core feel. Quickly things liven up with the urgent, string-filled “American Lakes Poetry” by Delorean, an absolutely gorgeous and slightly chaotic.

“News May be Good or Bad” by 12Twelve is a fantastic track that starts quiet and builds to crashing drums and driving guitars, not terribly fast but loud and urgent. “I Shall Come Forth as Gold” by Mainframe Theory has some fantastic, booming drums and nice melodic guitar, and it also has a more up-beat, math-rock style. Things get very quiet with Running for Passenger’s “Quarterly,” which uses some nice, rich piano and a steady pace. Eucalyptus also uses some nice piano on the lovely, flowing “Nooks & Crannies,” which livens things up with some crunchy guitar as well, and the driving rock ending (with some cool organs used on top) is a highlight of the disc. Crownery close off the album with a chiming, xylophone-filled track that’s light and still somewhat eerie.

This is clearly one of the finest compilations I’ve heard in quite some time. These bands will amaze you with their talent. Fans of orchestrated, complex instrumentals will absolutely love this. And the unique packaging with see-through pages is a neat touch. Definitely a great release.