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Until Sunrise - Live at WDIY 88.1 CD (album) cover


Until Sunrise


Post Rock/Math rock

3.18 | 7 ratings

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Andy Webb
Special Collaborator
Retired Admin
3 stars Not really a live album, but still a strong release.

Until Sunrise is a new post-rock outfit from Maryland that released an independent studio album last year to mixed reviews (I think I made the "mix"). Seeing as it was independent, the recording quality and mixing was, to say the least, really bad. Now the music itself was great, with some nice creative passages, and more interesting songs, but also meandered into the abyss of post-rock monotony at some points. But away from their last album, this short little "live" EP (it's really a live in the studio album) has much more professional mixing, which brings out the richness to their music that I missed on their studio release, even the "remastered" version. Of course the album still can lose you in the trackless sees of post-rock, but the songs, with better production and a crisper sound, make this release a nice little EP.

Sunset was one of those overly-traditional post-rock songs from their last album, and sadly, the production, as guitarist Joe Dorsey says, is a little "hairy" due to the engineer having some problems. But, it is still better! From this version, I can actually hear with clarity some of the atmospheric qualities that the band had put into the song. The music now seems a little less like fuzz and a little more like tangible music. Overall, the music is still a little weak, but the production is better, so so is my enjoyment!

Watching the Clock is exciting because not only is it a new track, but it shows promising signs for new, better material for future releases. The track drops a lot of the outlandish bombastic backings to the guitar melodies when they aren't welcome and welcomes in a really nice soft drumming that fits perfectly as the guitars crescendo and distort, giving the monotonous post-rock a really nice twist of interest. Again, the track shows a lot of promise for a future release, especially if the compositions stay similar to this.

Nostalgic Moment is nice, especially with the highly increased production value. The audio seems crisp and professional, and so does the music that is playing! (Always a good thing). As I said in my review of the studio album "The melodic work with the piano is creative and enjoyable," especially in contrast to the guitars and drums (which in my opinion still seem a little too much, but seem to have gotten a lot better).

Now just so my OCD doesn't go crazy, I'll "review" (stadtion ID) and (reaction) together: station ID is just saying what the radio station is, and (reaction) is just what the people in the studio said after the band stopped playing, which was essentially just small talk, and the musicians complaining about how bad their instruments were. It seems really out place though, because I don' think anyone should really hear what the musicians thought of their performance, because it alienates the music.

As the City Quietly Sleeps is the mammoth of of their studio track. 23 minutes off the album, it was huge for a post-rock song, and was better than most sleeping pills. However, on this release, the band shortens it to17 minutes, and the production allows what is being played to actually be heard! Yay! A lot of the intro I didn't even know existed because it was so quiet on the studio album. The track is highly enjoyable to listen to all the way through the 17 minute length, much unlike the studio record. Soloing and instrumentation seem to have tripled in skill and ease of playing, and because of this the whole song sounds so much better. I don't know if it was even on the studio record, but the violin is a great touch. Overall, this song is one of my favorites on this album, when it was my least favorite on the studio.

ALBUM OVERALL: This radio appearance really isn't a live album. The songs are at a much higher production quality than the studio album, and from this much more of the physical music can actually be heard. The one new track is fantastic, and shows promise for the band, but sadly some of the tracks replayed from the studio album still have that twinge of monotony and traditionalistic post-rock that makes the tracks still a little boring. Sadly from this I couldn't really rate it what it could have been. It is a very high 3 star album, but not quite a 4 star. The band is getting there though! 3+ stars.

Andy Webb | 3/5 |


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