Channing Cope – Sugar in Our Blood

Channing Cope
Sugar in Our Blood

San Diego’s Channing Cope has a unique style of post-rock that combines influences of bands like Radiohead and Mogwai with the more angular and intricate sounds of Slint and The Mercury Program. The result is something that’s simultaneously melodic and complex and soothing and introspective.

Sugar in Our Blood, the band’s first full-length, contrasts of what I think of as the style of San Diego, as epitomized by bands like No Knife. Still, the band has received significant local attention and deserves a wider audience based on this six-song work. It combines a strong sense of mood and texture with very intricate guitar/bass/drumwork. And the end result is something that’s a little dark and moody yet very moving.

“Blackbody Curves” has the kind of intricate guitar and bass interaction that reminds me of mathy post-rock bands like Volta Do Mar. It’s intricate yet rich in texture and highly complex, but with Ali Deniz Ozkan’s soft voice floating through, it’s never too complex, which often makes the most difficult post-rock the most difficult to listen to. It’s followed by “Support the Mountain,” a more moody and flowing track, and here the percussion is given great room to shine, and Ozkan’s voice works nicely as a fourth instrument. Even better is the incredibly lovely “Parallax,” which is shorter than the other tracks here, or the bass-driven “From Sky to Core,” which has a very moody feel that reminds me of Early Day Miners. “For a Better Monday” is a fitting closer, providing a nice bookend to “Blackbody Curves” with its moody vocals and stellar percussion.

I haven’t heard much post-rock lately, and I was starting to put it down as an early-2000s fad. Many such bands sounded the same, and often they’d go for talented wankery over true songwriting. Channing Cope is more ethereal and textured, and while the angular yet melodic guitars and bass and intricate drumming are still there, they are tempered with a more flowing style that’s highly evocative. This one is a great listen and is likely to prompt repeated plays.