At The Soundawn
Red Square: We Come In Waves

It’s a good thing I got the recent Day Without Dawn album around the same time I got the debut release from this Italian post rock band, because now I have something to compare At The Soundawn to; shimmering, delicate, acoustic heavy, artistic post rock.

While more of a long EP (7 songs) than a full album, Red Square is a very competent and relaxing album, despite a few Isisian/Neurosis/Rosetta styled crescendos and roars, the overall vibe of the album is a babbling brook rather than a thunderous waterfall. Throw in some well placed saxophone injections that add a very cool atmosphere to the already well done post rock cascades and you have a release that should appeal to fans of the more introspective post rock bands (Red Sparowes, Russian Circles, Tides, Giant, Explosions In The Sky, etc) as well as Mogwai, Radiohead and other more intrinsic rock acts.

With far more compact songs than their peers (only one song is over 6 minutes), At The Soundawn get straight to it with the immediate throb of opener “Slight Variations” which in its first few moments has a gruff shouts, delicate strums, a saxophone, clean vocals and a thunderous climax before transitioning to “Submerged” with grace and ease and then the ultra laid back “One Day Before” and “Phone Will” which sees the saxophone again majestically grace the already shimmering acoustics-very, very nice stuff. “Sundown In Rome” is the obligatory instrumental/ambient track the proceeds the more sudden and angry start of “Rain Falls”, the records sternest overall track, though still littered with cascading acoustics.

Closer “Frames of You” puts fittingly robust closure on a release that shows oodles of promise in a crowded genre from a surprising origin. I’d like to hear the saxophone element developed more and more polished clean vocals as well as some more ambitious, lengthier songs, but based on this release, the ability and effort is there for some truly amazing material in their future.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 29th, 2008

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