THE UNWINDING HOURS – The Unwinding Hours (2010)

The Unwinding Hours is the new project of Craig and Iain of the criminally under-appreciated Scottish band Aereogramme. Sure, Aereogramme never rivaled fellow Glasgowians (is that a word? Hmmm – déjà vu) Mogwai in terms of popularity, but they certainly were able to rival them in terms of vaulting across decibel canyons like it wasn’t a big deal. But whereas Mogwai deal more in cinematic minimalism, Aereogramme were more complicated, lurching with Pixies-esque dexterity from earnest, subdued alt-rock to earth-shattering post-hardcore and back again. The Unwinding Hours aren’t as deliberate in their motions, although certain sections of this album do get astoundingly heavy. No, The Unwinding Hours sounds more like Anathema or No-Man being intercepted occasionally by Kevin Shields. So, in other words: hauntingly bare + violently full.

Especially in their earlier releases, Aereogramme were fond of atypical melodies and chord progressions in the smaller, quieter sections of their music. This gave these quite passages a hint of menace; we were kept on edge, never knowing where the next Isis-like explosion was going to take place. Of course, as I mentioned earlier, no real explosions take place on The Unwinding Hours, and so here, the band have opted to take their quieter sections and crib from the post-rock textbook extensively, using everything from fluttering guitars and soaring strings (awesome opener Knut), to a massive unfurling of guitar layers (the almost-too-beautiful Traces), to simple repetition (the piano, synth and drumbeat that propels Peaceful Liquid Shell onwards), to get their point across. None of these things on paper seem to have the making of a profoundly resonant album (and at times, the lyrics don’t help), but that’s what The Unwinding Hours winds up being – a profoundly resonant album, one that I won’t tire of anytime soon.

Hopefully, The Unwinding Hours will make more people aware of the greatness that was Aereogramme. But if not, there will always be this album, here. now, as it is. It’s one of those listens that you can’t help but play again once it is finished; it’s emotional, diverse and expertly paced, with a flow that’s so natural (considering how much ground is covered), that it’s kind of marvelous it exists. Needless to say, this is an album I’d have no problem recommending to…well, pretty much everybody.

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One Response to “THE UNWINDING HOURS – The Unwinding Hours (2010)”

  1. […] this album and The Unwinding Hours’ debut, I’m convinced that (for the most part), music doesn’t ever really leave people; if […]

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