Souvaris – A Hat

A Hat

There was a time a few years ago when a crop of bands started writing Tortoise-like instrumentals and making names for themselves. For the most part, this kind of post-rock has gone by the wayside. Now Souvaris has come along and released A Hat, fueling speculation that the genre hasn’t been counted out just yet.

This album isn’t overt about its odd time signatures (they’re subtle) or ham-fisted about showing off its riffage. Remember Mercury Program? Souvaris is like that. The songs almost just drift along with little to jar you or disturb your listening pleasure. That’s not to say that the songs lack for spirit. Souvaris just never showboats.

The 5-piece band works in some vibraphone and the occasional keyboard chord, but mostly it’s about the drums, guitar, and bass. From the Ganger-like repetitions that open “Puny Go Stompin'” to the 15-minute, spacey Mogwaian “Nobody Is Fine and Everybody Needs a Drink,” Souvaris shows that it has learned a thing or two from its predecessors. The most raucous moments, such as the ending of “Nobody Is Fine…,” betray a fondness for the GYBE school of how to build your instrumental to its climax.

The band plays tight. Not too much noodling, either, which can kill an otherwise decent record. And what’s not apparent from the music itself but only from the titles would be the band’s sense of humor. How else do you account for “Quit Touching My Ass” and “The Young Ted Danson”? Ted Danson has probably never had another epic, 13-minute paean dedicated to his former greatness. Especially one that ends with a cowbell.