Alison Ranger rely on the power of juxtaposition to maximize the impact of their delivery. Sometimes the variety of the music they are able to create results in an indecisiveness as to what to do next; however, most of their music is focused on the emotions behind the lyrics. This focus combines well with the band’s brevity keeps the confusion down to a minimum.
“To Migrate” starts softly with unidentifiable sounds that give way to a ripping guitar riff. Pummeling double bass, a duo of raging guitars, and unruly bass thrash behind vocals pushed to the vocals pushed to the point of breaking. Emotional, thick, DC-influenced hardcore … OK, just when you are getting comfortable with that, suddenly the music drops out, and a vacuum of LP crackle is traversed by distant synths and incidental keyboard. The band returns transformed, muted, joined by cellos. Borrowing heavily from Slint, the vocals are now barely audible despite the dramatic reduction in volume of the other instruments. Unlike Slint, this section is quite succinct and flows naturally into the next part, which does more than simply rehash the previous “hardcore” verse. Instead, the outro combines the distorted guitars and strained singing with flourishes of piano which only add to the urgency of the sound.
Alison Ranger mix together a number of styles that are difficult to define in themselves (often lumped together as “post-rock”). Perhaps guilty of trying too hard to fuse certain genres, whatever term you affix to their sound, Alison Ranger easily convey emotions and ideas through these stylistic filters.