There have certainly been no shortage of melodramatic post-rock releases since the turn of the century; the kind where morose, piano-led intros give way to a hailstorm of guitars. The most remarkable factor about The Severely Departed is that there are just a couple of band members making the noise and San Francisco’s Chris Grimm and Ben Crowley perform with some panache on their second album, helpfully entitled ‘Two’.
‘Beneath The Years’ sets events onto a strong foot and although the guitar parts recall just about every loud post-rock cliché from the past decade, the flowing piano melody creates an elegant counterpoint. These indications of refined times are fleshed out further for the reflective ‘Moving On’. Then we are treated to ‘Into The Open’, which is a much more convincing document of their quiet/loud prowess; the track resembles a suite as it is directed down a variety of tuneful and undulating passages. Better still are the insistent, chiming textures of ‘A Parting Glance’, which cast an almost Christmas time spell on the listener then, finally, ‘Relapse’ ends the album on a decent note but the real meat of the album is on the middle three tracks.
It took The Severely Departed six years to release this album and one feels a progression will be needed if they leave it so long next time around. Yet without ever threatening to set the world alight, this is forty minutes of solid, quality instrumental music which ticks all the right boxes.
Parhelia, Milhaven, Explosions In The Sky