Are you a glass half empty or half full sort of person? If half empty you might think that at 22 minutes long you are missing half an album here along with something else rather important. Ah yes vocals? If half full you are probably thinking that you have something longer than an average EP and that it makes a lovely change to be actually able to hear the actual music without the hindrance of voices spoiling things.
Australasia probably don’t care as they have the cahones to name themselves after an entire continent and for some random reason have also decided to put a picture of a horse on the cover of their even more obtusely entitled Sin4tr4. As for the bands true origins that shall by the looks of things remain a mystery as I cannot find that information. Musically their mission statement is about “melting heaviness into Post-rock.” They illustrate things further by citing bands as disparate as Mogwai and At The Gates, take that with a pinch, I did until play was pressed.
All the song titles are one word such as the first of the seven ‘Antenna’ Listening to it I find myself waiting for the unmistakable voice of Neige to come in, it doesn’t but the delicate harmony definitely nods a lot towards the direction of Alcest and other affiliated Prophecy acts. Proving there is a backbone however jagged guitars burst in and we are given a good post rock workout now the ambience has been dispensed with and yes you could actually head bang to this. It’s a case of setting up soundscapes that are at times fragile and at others like a couple of seconds into ‘Spine’, rage. The counterpoising of the two textures (Christ I sound like a bloody art critic) work well together and the lack of vocals is made up for by occasional sounds of radio transmission, samples, female warbling etc.
It is easy to look back at the Indie poppers that developed into what today are classed as shoegaze bands. You can trance out here as much as you could listening to the likes of Levitation, Lush et al, as well as focus on some synthesized bursts that coldly remind of film soundtracks ala John Carpenter. This is a pleasant listen and one to drift along to, whether that is enough for you to get out of your music no doubt goes back to that half empty, half full equation. Personally I like it although it is far from ground breaking.
Still this is I believe the first release from a new band on a brand new label so I will be interested to see what both come up with in the future.
(6/10 Pete Woods)