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Red Sparowes - The Fear Is Excruciating, But Therein Lies The Answer CD (album) cover


Red Sparowes


Post Rock/Math rock

3.81 | 55 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It's not been too long since I began to become seriously acquainted with the work of American post-rock outfit Red Sparowes, but I have grown to enjoy and appreciate their material and musical vision quite quickly. "The Fear is Excruciating, But Therein Lies The Answer" is the band's 2010 release, for starters, a very muscular effort that aims at preserving the essential intensity of contemporary art-rock. Isis is naturally a strong reference to their core sound, and so are Mogwai, Neurosis and Tortoise to a certain degree: that is, their approach to texture and atmosphere is clearly differentiated from the orchestrated doom we find in GYBE! albums or the stylish colorfulness delivered in Do Make Say Think releases. Originally an Isis off-shoot, it is evident that Red Sparowes has a creative channel of its own and exploits its potential with conviction and power. While I don't happen to enjoy this third long-duration CD as much as any of the first two, I remain a loyal admirer of the band's sonic deliveries. It feels like the entrance of newcoming guitarist Emma Ruth Rundle has worked as a catalyst of renewed energy within the instrumental developments. 'Truths Arise' is the brief prelude that anticipates in a very controlled way the powerful density that is about to dominate the album's repertoire; despite its shortness, it shows a consistent signal of soaring magnificence. 'In Illusions Of Order' bears a lovely articulation of guitar riffs and harmonies in a mesmerizing crescendo that builds on an initial languidness and ultimately peaks at the 4 minute mark. The next thing is a motif that echoes the initial languidness partially, with a rhythmic scheme that provides a recurrent tension that finally ends up in a terrific climax. Lovely piece!... If Only it had been just a little bit Langer? 'A Hail Of Bombs' bears a more extroverted aura, even lyrical at the starting point. Once we get to the 2 minute mark, things begin to get as explosive as you should expect from the title. This passage of delightful energetic textures ultimately leads to a calm closure. 'Giving Birth To Imagined Saviors' begins on an intriguing, minimalistic note, in this way installing an epic ambience wrapped in a constrained framework. Past the 4 minute mark, things shift from the epic to the dense in a spotless display of fluidity. 'A Swarm' states a sense of evocative lyricism throughout the varying motifs: the sonic framework becomes gradually more powerful, but the implicit brightness does not get to explode as much as in previous pieces, and eventually, things return to the initial calmness before the end. This track can be described as a work of recapitulation of the moods previously captured in 'In Illusions Of Order' and 'A Hail Of Bombs', only with a more pronounced eeriness ? so far, these three tracks may be pointed out as highlights in the album. The lyrical aspect continues to be relevant and crucial in the next piece, 'In Every Mind', while 'A Mutiny' brings a soft series of jazzy moods in both the atmosphere and the rhythmic duo's cadences. At the 3'30 mark, we can spot the possibility of a major increase in rocking power, but it remains a tentative variation within a well-ordained architecture. The closer 'As Each End Looms And Subsides' is yet another highlight. The multiple guitars elaborate an appealing wall-of-sound in which tension and spacey moods become one single sonic force. This combination of robust and cosmic features makes in no small degree the whole RS ideology, and in the case of this particular track, the incarnation turns out to be a revealing epitome. "The Fear Is Excrutiacing But Therein Lies The Answer" is, all in all, an exciting experience - as time goes by and new ideas emerge, Red Sparowes solidifies its position in the post-rock scene.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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