REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha
BIG-HEARTED POST-ROCK FROM TIDES OF MAN
Melodies and soundscapes tending toward lighter shades in dynamic post-rock debut.
Tides of Man – Florida’s erstwhile progressive rock band – has not released anything since late 2010. In the meantime the band has been pretty busy – jettisoning its philandering singer/guitarist and reinventing itself (“gone post-rock instrumental”, as the band puts it). A logical move, perhaps, given that no vocalist is required. So far so predictable, you may be fretting – but fear not. Tides of Man’s new post-rock album “Young and Courageous” is pretty damn great. The album opens with “Desolate. Magnificent”, a gloaming watery prelude that sets up a neat switch of gears into the excellent “Mountain Horse”, by which time the band is pumping with the excited young heart of one that may just have discovered what it should have sounded like all along. And, if Tides of Man have retained anything from their progressive days, perhaps it is the confidence to chisel this post-rock gem down to a punchy 2 minutes and 52 seconds. Songs like “Drift” and “Young and Courageous” – and others – neatly show the band’s knack with longer, more structured, post-rock soundscapes – reminiscent at some junctures, it must be said, of post-rock stalwarts like Mogwai and Godspeed! – but with a rockier edge on it. The album tends toward lighter shades, though, and for the most part doesn't feel too derivative. It is well constructed – deftly picked melodies on keyboards and guitars chime brightly in anticipation of satisfyingly righteous crescendos, white noise and rollicking drums. If there are any criticisms to be made, it is that – in this correspondent’s humble opinion – the last third of the album doesn't quite have the same narrative and contrast of the rest. Ultimately though Tides of Man have produced a fine – and at times excellent – post-rock album. And perhaps they are as surprised as anyone – after all they are, they say, “in the middle of an identity crisis”. Fortunately they are also loving it. Tides of Man are: Spencer Gill (guitar, vocals), Josh Gould (drums), Alan Jaye (bass), Daniel Miller (guitar), and Spencer Bradham (keyboard).