Engineered by Nick Lawrie @ Lofi Studios Glasgow
1. Beacons 2. Just So You’re Warm 3. Are You Free?
4. Circling 5. Charge of the Light Brigade
Darren Gibson – Guitar, Yiorgos Katsaitis - Guitar, Chris Monan- Guitar
Murray Ross – Bass, Andy McMillan – Drums
As anticipated releases go this is one I’ve been waiting on since I first caught Without Aeroplanes at Stereo along with Little Bay and Analogue of the Sun. That night sits in the memory for a few reasons: firstly it was the beginning of my love affair with Little Bay. Secondly, it reaffirmed my devotion to Analogue of the Sun. Thirdly it was the beginning of my involvement with the wonderful Whole Heart Collective. Perhaps most tellingly it introduced me to the aforementioned Without Aeroplanes, the first instrumental post-rock band I heard on the Glasgow scene that really invigorated me for the entirety of their set instead of simply numbing me out with walls of delay and reverb.
This first offering of the band, ‘Tell Me Tales of Canada’ translates the bands live sound incredibly well to record. In all honesty I had been a tad worried that the sense of atmosphere they bring to the stage would be somehow lost when committed to tape. Thankfully this isn’t the case. The three-layered guitars gives the bands atmospheric moments a real sense of depth, enhanced by the fact you can actually hear the bass on the record. Even through shitty laptop speakers. Which says something about the production and mix on the EP. The snare sound in particular on this record is absurdly huge, sounding almost like you’re having your skull beaten with the stick as opposed to the drum. Which would be a problem were it not for the fact that just before you become completely broken in by the more driving moments the band drops back into its more lush atmospherics or a distant emotive guitar melody rears its head through the walls of distortion. Truth be told, sometimes I wish said walls went on that bit longer and got that touch to heavier.
For the most part the band do follow the tried and tested quiet-loud post-rock dynamic throughout the songs. That’s not necessarily a negative criticism. No one needs to reinvent the wheel, but you might well want one that runs a touch smoother. Without Aeroplanes are that new shiny fast wheel in post-rock terms so far as I’m concerned. It’s pretty much exactly what you want from a post-rock band done exceedingly well. Sometimes I almost hear parts screaming out for vocals, but that’s just the vocalist in me. Instrumental music isn’t my first love so that kind of bias is always going to lie in me.
Essentially if you like your music with walls of guitars that go from sparkly melodies to driving, though maybe not crushing enough, walls of distortion Without Aeroplanes are exactly the band you’re looking for.
The EP is available now via the Without Aeroplanes Bandcamp for a pay what you want deal. Click here to go the Bandcamp and click here to check out the band on Facebook to keep up to date regarding shows and releases.