Air Formation – Ends in Light

Air Formation
Ends in Light

Coming out of Brighton, England, Air Formation is a trio of lads intent on making music that swallows. A couple of the tracks on this, their first release under their new name, accomplish this, engulfing you in slow, looping layers of sound. Many of the other tracks, however, cross over the thin line present in shoegazer music, slipping from sonic to stale as they saunter aimlessly.

The opener, “Take It Easy,” falls into the sonic category. A simple drumbeat and a meandering keyboard – the staple of shoegazer music – form the background, as the bass pushes through the layers, surging up and down. The instrumental vocals pop in and out, not dramatically changing the texture of the sound as they passively loll. On, “In Formation,” the band takes on a murkier sound. It opens slowly to another simple drumbeat and then again comes the note-to-note keyboards. A wave of distortion flushes out the sound, and the bass begins to surge again. After five and a half minutes, though, this track gets worn out, especially to an active listener.

What better way to follow a tired five-and-a-half minute song than with another five-and-a-half minute song. “Still” is one track you will most likely skip over, and it falls under the stale category. Sure enough, “Brightest Star at Night,” is right at five and a half minutes too. By this time, a blast of fresh sound is in dire need. And thankfully, it is given to us. I wish that is what I could say, but it’s not. A simple drumbeat, and the note-to-note reverberating keyboard comprise the bulk of this song. Right before you fall out of consciousness about halfway through the song, the pulse dies, and then a packet of energy is released. Its lifespan is all too short, as it leaves you wanting more melody, more energy.

With more elements of melody, changes in dynamics, diversity in instrumentation, or even diversity in technique, I think Air Formation could uncover some gems. Unfortunately, these elements are missing from too much of the CD. And at just under 40 minutes, making your way through the entirety of this CD may put the listener into a comatose state.