Although we live during a drastically different time for music to flourish, it should be duly noted that the best musicians continue to make music as a purely expressive extension of their art. Often, we forget that the best bands and artists are creating their craft and delivering it for all of us to enjoy; so naturally, as any good artists does, they delve into various ways to improve, various ways to grow, various ways to thrive. Spencer Krug doesn’t make music to fit into any kind of mold, he also doesn’t make music to simply crank out album after album, what Krug does is immerse himself into music and its spellbinding qualities.
With that said, it makes logical sense why With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery is yet another masterful take on music from one of the industry’s hardest-working musicians. During his brief and driven time making music under the Moonface moniker, Krug has steadily created albums that are all within different scopes of frame. With his opening EP Krug invented a classical piece that featured marimba, while enveloping arpeggios, dynamics and his magnificent voice into a twenty-minute piece of music. And on his second EP/LP he ventured into territory that featured organ, not vibraphone like he’d hoped. The latter was a divisive fit simply because people couldn’t get past Krug’s seemingly logical tale of spinning music stories. Each album before With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery was simply a new adventure to explore: when you’ve got the major chops Krug does, there is no other way to improve.
Now, on With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery, Krug enlists the help of Finnish band, Siinai, to flesh out his wickedly enlightening twitches and decorations into something absolutely stunning. Making an album of music seems to flowingly pour out of Krug like leaves sprouting every spring: it’s an automatic response. However, Krug tenders to his garden of sounds with varying shifts in color and mood. On “Headed for the Door” everything coalesces into a pounding escape of forceful music. Krug takes what Siinai can create – huge walls of sound, a burly foundation – and conquers them into a tour de force that recalls the powering soul of Dragonslayer. Even when things pick up pace, like on “I’m Not the Phoenix Yet,” Krug manipulates the sounds to calmly gel into and around the space of music he has to work with. A synth melody creeps in and out but mostly it’s the ominous drive of the music that makes for impressive highs; entirely exploring and realizing what a backing band can deliver, Krug is ridiculously in control.
The brooding opening of the title track is a just precursor to the album’s dark tones and it’s very much an open book in every possible sense. But whether it’s the sterling grip and feel of “Shitty City,” where Krug can showcase the influence Wolf Parade bandmate Dan Boeckner has enabled, or the grippingly strong, towering sounds of “Lay Your Cheek on Down,” With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery is a fully-incorporated album that truly rocks and rattles with sublime music. With his latest Moonface endeavor Krug opted to take hold of the shaking matter of rock music with an abyss of storytelling and in the end, it’s all downright astonishing.
Again, it shouldn’t be regarded so much as where ‘Moonface finally makes good music’ because everything before and after possesses Krug tendencies – masterful melodies, mesmerizing dynamics and more over, a rush of blood to the head with every new tone – With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery just happens to be his first, perhaps, official LP and yes, Siinai allow for all the magic to swirl into one HUGE startling success.
“Headed for the Door” by Moonface