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If These Trees Could Talk - If These Trees Could Talk CD (album) cover


If These Trees Could Talk


Post Rock/Math rock

3.33 | 18 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Fight Club
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Derivative but overall and enjoyable listen

Post-rock seems to be flooding the music world these days. Arguably developing from TALK TALK's 1991 album, Laughing Stock, the genre dubbed "post-rock" seems to be ever-growing in popularity. Often characterized by wailing high-pitched guitars, gargantuan crescendos, three-part guitar harmonies, and raw emotion, post-rock has become an easy way for young musicians to achieve success while retaining the depth found in prog. Unfortunately this formula has found itself being painfully overused in recent years. The originators such as MOGWAI and GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR have been repeatedly mimicked and sadly, the once fresh genre of post-rock is growing dull.

Despite all this, I still find myself enjoying the stereotypical post-rock sound very much. The reflective mood suits me very well during early, dark mornings when my Art History class just happens to be canceled and I have two hours to kill. It's times like this when I like to lay back in my car and just let the music take over. Post-rock is like being engulfed in an aura of melancholia. There's an uncanny awareness of space, almost like your listening to the absence of music - a vibration instead of a sound. It churns your insides and tugs at your emotions like little other music can.

During the dark season of winter I tend to fall into a very pensive state of mind. It's only natural that I would want to acquire some more post-rock to compliment my mood. But I've already heard everything, GODSPEED, MONO, EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY, MOGWAI, etc. What else is there, right? Well, my TERA MELOS-loving mate also happens to be an expert on the genre.

"Yo John, recommend me some post-rock!" "If These Trees Could Talk" "They good?" "I heard Malabar Front once and bought the CD, they're good"

So I quickly got a hold of their self-titled EP and gave it a couple listens. First reaction went something like "Hmm I like the nice guitar intro, oh wait wrong song". Don't you hate it when you accidentally play a CD in the wrong order the first time? Who wants to be spoiled by track 2 when they haven't even heard track 1 yet!

Anyway, upon my first listen I liked the band. They clearly held every aspect you would expect from the genre, but there were a couple of things that stood out to me. First of all, there were none of the unnecessarily long clean guitar build ups that take up nearly half a MONO or EITS album. While EITS seem to build up their songs for an unbearably long period of time, IF THESE TREES COULD TALK take only the time required before rocking out. There are no slow, drawn out sections that end up leading to nowhere on this disc.

The second thing I noticed was how much heavier this band was than what I usually have come to expect. I'd consider them post-metal if it weren't for the tasteful harmonized pieces they have to offer. Take for example, "Smoke Stacks", the tranquil opening isn't something you'd expect from say, PELICAN or GIANT SQUID. A good amount of pulsing riffs still occupy the album though, not to mention the heart-wrenching crescendos. Oh this album does stir my emotions.

On the down side, everything is hopelessly derivative. It's like they took all the best aspects of the most notable bands in post-rock and threw them in a blender to create their sound. So, there's nothing new or original here at all. Don't expect to travel and ground the hasn't already been covered by the other bands I mentioned above.

Another thing one might notice is the similarity between every song. After "Malabar Front" one can pretty much guess what's to come for the duration of the album. The strong moments are all there, it's just it all sounds too similar for anything to truly stand out.

Don't take this as a negative review though. In a slowly dying genre of music, IF THESE TREES COULD TALK demonstrate considerable potential to become one of its leading contributors. For one expecting something a fresh taste of ideas out of this album, he will find disappointment. However, anyone just looking for another decent album to add to their post-rock collection, IF THESE TREES COULD TALK will do just fine.

My rating: 7/10

Fight Club | 3/5 |


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