Pittsburgh’s Radio For The Daydreamers tick so many of the pre-requisites for post-rock. This is a world where lengthy track titles attempt to give some meaning to dark instrumental music. ‘Mother Superior…’ is said to be the first album from their ‘Praying For The Be(a)st Triptych’ and includes various messages about “accepting evil” as well as indulgences in misery, phobias and anxieties. Yet beyond the portents of doom lies a surprising accessibility.
The first half of the record covers an impressive range of styles and largely succeeds. An opening ‘Black River Time Bombs’ merges spy thriller atmopsherics, jazz and some light drum and bass. On ‘Wasted Faces In Secret Places’ and ‘Crawl Into My Crawl Space’ the band members dispense achingly sad guitar melodies. The nagging hook quotient passes the baton to the piano-driven ‘Ghosts Keep Me Safe While You Are Gone’ and the impression is that if the group could maintain this form, the album could be an obscure classic.
Sadly, on a patchier second half, the group try too hard to be all things to all men as if they feel a need to prove themselves in every genre. ‘I Am Not Coming Back Home’ features (shock horror) some singing albeit of an odd kind of digitised soul, ‘Freelance Dream Killing Machine’ sounds like it might be the first rave record whilst ‘Every God Is A Monster’ descends in to heavy metal riffage. The brittle percussion occasionally grates too but at least a graceful passage of semi-classical elegance such as ‘No One Ever Comes Here’ But Me’ is never too far away.
With a bit more focus, one hopes that part two of this triptych will represent a more cohesive listening experience. Nevertheless, the creativity and atmospherics on show are often as beguiling as the track titles are confusing.
Radio For The Daydreamers Bandcamp