April 26, 2008

Laura - Radio Swan Is Down

Album: Radio Swan Is Down
Year: 2006
Genre:Post Rock,Shoegaze

Melbourne post-rock six piece Laura have created an album that is incredibly diverse and varied, yet wonderfully structured and cohesive. Employing a wide range of textures and instruments, Laura have created one of the best post-rock releases of 2006!


"Hailing from Melbourne, Laura are one of the few Australian post-rock bands who play in a style that can be easily compared to contemporaries such as Godspeed You! Black Emperor or Explosions in the Sky. On first examination, their music sounds like the midpoint of those two bands. Closer examination, however, reveals a greater depth to Laura's music and a much broader range of sounds. Laura employ a wide range of instruments on Radio Swan is Down; guitars, synthesisers, samplers, strings, male and female vocals, brass and various percussion instruments all make welcome appearances throughout the record. Released just over a year after their full-length debut, Radio Swan is Down is the conclusion of an enormous amount of work in a small amount of time. Radio Swan is Down is an intense album that deals with a number of different emotional states; depression, paranoia and joy all seem to be fairly strong themes throughout the albu

"Laura was one of the most talked about post-rock bands in the past year with their slightly different take on their music. The formulaic sound that many (not all) bands from the genre have is nowhere to be seen in this album, and what a wonderful sight that is! I've never been this exited about an album from the genre since last year's Enjoy Eternal Bliss by Yndi Halda. Although there's clearly a big difference in their sound. While in my eyes Yndi Halda managed to improve and perfect the clichés about the genre making it look like a it was 2002 all over again, Laura on the other hand are in the vanguard of the genre slowly breaking new walls and opening new paths for other bands to follow. The instrumentation is still common using the guitars as the forefront of their sound while vibraphones, violins, piano ect. help to make their sound as full as possible. The difference is in how they use it. As I said earlier, and probably be saying in the rest of the review, they don't follow any pattern already made by previous bands so this makes the album a nice varied experience. There isn't a single song that sound alike to another, but still it doesn't sound like a mish mash of sounds and its always focused (a thing which many people feel bands from the genre lack). The songs aren't long and they don't overstay their welcome. There's a different variety of themes in the songs all which make the album vary in emotions as well. As we all know post-rock bands are more concerned about making you feel rather than anything else and Laura isn't the exception. From love to hate, to despair, to joy, to anger, to nostalgia, you name it Laura pretty much covers it with its eleven songs and hour and four minutes of running time. My favorite song from the album is the breathtaking "I Hope". I can't really express my feelings I get when listening to this song. It's one of the three songs that uses vocals and the vocals are what makes this song what it is: simply wonderful. There's a bit of a problem though. The album has it's high quality material up front and by the end of the album the difference can be clearly felt with the only exception being the last song. But don't make this comment slow you down, this is still one of the best releases of the last year and one of the better albums from the genre. At the end of the day you'll get an overall excellent album with very little drawbacks and a nice well needed distinctive sound. I strongly recommend this album for fans of melodic prog and post-rock fans in need of a new and refreshing sound."(progarchives.com)


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