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Gregor Samsa - 55:12 CD (album) cover

55:12

Gregor Samsa

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.98 | 24 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Equality 7-2521
4 stars Gregor Samsa describe themselves as "Slow and sad. Slow and happy, but never fast and anything."

That pretty much takes the words out of my mouth. The most common Post-Rock formula (at least in people's minds) of "silence to violence" fails to capture Gregor Samsa. As the band said, everything is kept at the slow end of the spectrum. The album moves along like a raft in calm water, every minute movement is visible and introduced slowly. 55:12 may be called minimalist in this regard. Changes happen very slowly and every new instrument or variation will instantly be recognized by the listener. The songs do have their occasional crescendo where things speed up, begin to happen more quickly, and fill up to a sort of wall of sound instead of the albums standard sparse instrumentation, but even these don't escape the relaxed, calming, just gentle nature of 55:12. The album focuses on mood and succeeds, never failing to make you feel it. As such, this isn't a record which will have frequent rotation while you're working out, throwing a party, acting like a ninja, etc. It's the kind of music for a slow drive at night or sitting on your porch in the rain.

Two interweaving male and female vocalist make up Gregor Samsa's gimmick, for lack of a better word. The two vocalists, whether singing in harmony or soloing, with their rich, soothing voices, contribute the greatest to the music. Instrumentally the album is fantastic shying away from the bulk post-rock guitar sound of many bands in the genre and focuses more on piano, cello, and violin for its engaging sound, but with the vocals the album becomes Gregor Samsa without them so much is missing. The amazing chemistry between the two singers reminds me of a man and his wife talking in bed before sleep. So overpowering is the connection that I'd be shocked to find out that the two are not romantically involved.

There's a thin line between maintaining a mood and being monotonous. Gregor Samsa bravely walk the line, and never fall onto the uglier half. This certainly won't be everyone's cup of tea, but I doubt anyone will find anything objectionable about it. The Post-Rock genre contains far more variety than many here seem to realize; 55:12 may be your first step in discovering its scope.

Equality 7-2521 | 4/5 |

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