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Vessels - Helioscope CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

3.74 | 28 ratings

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Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars Vessels are a five-piece math rock band from the UK. Most math bands have only three or four members, but Vessels generally puts a little more emphasis on keyboards than most math bands. I haven't heard their first album but I like Helioscope very much. In fact, I enjoy it the more I listen to it. Math Rock seems pretty strong as a genre right now and this album is evidence of that.

The opener "Monoform" is probably the best song on the album. Love the use of synth in this song. Great drumming too. It sounds like some kind of mallet percussion is being played before the song gets even more intense. Some cool altered wordless vocals after 2 minutes. Almost drum'n'bass style beats for awhile. "The Trap" starts out with a motorik groove on guitar before other instruments come in, including interesting percussive drumming. The song alternates between more laid-back and rockin' parts.

"Recur" begins as an indie type song, something the people at the Pitchfork website would drool over. I've heard much better songs in this style. Some percussion adds to that part of the track. The last half of the song is some nice atmospheric guitars. A cool guitar effect links "Recur" and "Later Than You Think" together. Love the drumming here. This track somewhat reminds me of Do Make Say Think. Great African-style drumming halfway. At this point the guitar playing gets rather melodic. Gets almost symphonic sounding at the end.

I love the title of "Meatman, Piano Tuner, Prostitute." This is another vocal song which sounds similar to Radiohead. A laid-back song featuring busy drumming with lots of tom-tom action. "Art/Choke" is an intense and powerful song, almost metal sounding at times. There is some organ in this song which adds a lot. "Heal" is an atmospheric piece with guitar effects and keyboards. "All Our Ends" is another vocal song which reminds me of Broken Social Scene. This track features acoustic guitar, which is rare in math rock.

The harmony vocals are good. The intrumental heart of the song is the best part; it just builds and builds and gets more intense. Strange percussive sounds and someone talking at the end. "Spun Infinite" is another atmospheric track but with vocals. It's the weakest track on the album and it's a good thing it's the last song. Yet it doesn't make for a good ending to Helioscope. Still, a great album and one of the best from this year that I have heard so far. Highly recommended to fans of math rock. 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


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