With this copy of ‘The Car EP’’ there is an itsy bitsy slip of paper baring the legend “All The Hungry i products are officially endorsed by ‘The Dead Gerbil Of Post-Rock’ TM”. Whether such a creature exists beyond the mind of sole creator Jon Stolber remains to be seen, but it’s worth noting that post-rock is seemingly undead, a mutated and cyber-evolved hybrid of its established self. For this EP displays some of the characteristics of said genre – mostly in the form of long, gentle laments echoed by heavier passages – but trading the bowel-shiftingly low bass and achingly loud guitars for intensity of a different kind, utilising jacked beats and warped, hushed voices.
This music is so much more than a genre, though – its more like collaged snippets of nightmarish visions or the cinematic encasement of a tortured mind, the aptly-titled first track ‘Introduction’ looping dark and funky beats into live drums before playing them backwards (reversed loops is a repeated trait across the tracks here), all underneath deep strings. It sure is a moody bunch of songs, but the low murmurs that pass for vocals (such as the refrain “Fill my empty soul” in ‘Coming Up For Air’) and cold, clinical laptop rhythms take away from it any overly dramatic or unsubtle stylings that would be too suffocating or depleting otherwise. Which does mean that this EP abounds with deliciously brooding moments – check when the bass drum kicks in on ‘The Idiot’ – but also has, in the case of ‘Happy Too’, the odd bout of sweet wooziness, all elegantly plucked guitar, tinkling piano and, despite the word “despair” being warbled a few dozen times, vocals bordering on dream-like.
I’ve heard that this music’s founder despises ‘musical equations’ but as an amateur hack I feel compelled to write one involving Bonemachine, the dark bits of DJ Shadow and the quieter bits of Radiohead. Then play it backwards. Respect.
8Thomas Blatchford's Score