Maserati – Confines of Heat Split EP

Maserati
Confines of Heat Split EP

A magnificent brainstorm occurred when the idea of putting out a split CD featuring two of today’s finest post-rock bands, The Mercury Program and Maserati, was conceived. The Mercury Program grabbed the attention of Tigerstyle Records a few years back and released two full-lengths and one EP by the band. Maserati, a bit newer in conception than The Mercury Program, self-released one full-length before getting signed to Kindercore for last year’s epic The Language of Cities. Those unfamiliar with either band should take the time and effort to research the respective back-catalogs; the previous material is quite exceptional.
The Mercury Program continues to evolve with each subsequent release. After an incredible EP entitled All the Suits Began to Fall Off released in 2001 and last year’s full-length A Data Learn the Language, the band has perfected its post-rock formula down to a near science. Maserati is excellent as well, showcasing a passion for beautiful drones and intricately clean picked out and chiming guitars. The band demonstrates the grace of Tristeza but takes on considerably more interesting rhythms. The band’s full-length, The Language of Cities, was in my top 10 list of last year.
The Mercury Program could very well be considered the Phish of the indie-rock world. The three songs on Confines of Heat could easily be categorized as some of the best material that the band has written thus far. “You Give Me Problems About My Business” starts things off with a brilliant mix of somber melancholy infused in a mathematical rhythmic-based approach. The band adds the perfect amount of instrumentation with a Fender Rhodes piano, vibraphones, fattened bass guitar, and crisp, solid drumming. The most awe-inspiring part of the song is Tom Reno’s guitar work, which sets the standard of how to perfectly integrate digital delay into a song of this nature. This repetition becomes so ingrained in one’s mind that it very well carries you off somewhere into the ether. When all the parts converge towards the end of the song to take things to the next level, post-rock bliss then ensues. Being bombarded with so many perfectly crafted elements has never felt so good before. “Saint Rose of Lima” takes things down a notch in terms of tempo but definitely increases the heat (no pun intended) in terms of texture and somber meanderings. This jam is delicately shaped into a precise rhythmic entity, which hits the listener with the kind of tones that puts one in introspective state. Changing up a bit slightly, the song ends on a note that leaves the listener with a great sense of satisfaction. “A Crusading Theme” really showcases a lot more electronics than the band has worked with in the past. The song is actually a reinterpretation of a song by Savath+Savalas. It is definitely not your typical Mercury Program but has a nice edge that fills out quite well.
Maserati has clearly outdone itself once again with the three contributions to this split EP, picking up where the band left off on its full-length and upping the ante considerably. We are again presented with beautiful guitar with mathematical elements, intertwining and meandering. “Closer Than You Know How” is real gem that features gorgeous analog and digital delay amidst subtle drones. The drumming is also quite stellar and carries the song off to a new level entirely. This song is particularly interesting in the various progressions, leaving the listener in a state of awe. “Wires Were Towers” is equally as exceptional with bass guitar playing a substantial role leading up to the type of progressions that could very well make one salivate. This transcends many other so-called post-rock bands in the scene and really shows the course of this band’s future. The piece is catchy, melodically interesting, and emotionally captivating to say the least. “Cities (Assembly Mix)” is a bit harder on the palate but still remains interesting and unique. The texture is not typical of the usual Maserati, but it is nice to see that the band can incorporate new elements.
Confines of Heat ranks as one of the most impressive split CDs I have yet to come across so far. The disc also features a DVD that contains live videos of both bands, so the listener can be visually as well as aurally stimulated as well. Having this much musical talent combined with the variety and quality songwriting that both bands present with a bonus DVD easily makes this one of the best records to come out this year. This disc is surely not to be missed if you have a strong post-rock appetite and are still searching for that one CD to sink your teeth into; Confines of Heat provides more than enough taste, flavor, and fulfillment.