The brief but winning sophomore effort from Canadian quartet Por Nada, A Huge Granite Structure is further evidence for the way that what can be generally called U.K. post-punk rock has become an increasing touchstone for many bands in the new millennium. Whether it's the crisp edge of the recording, the calmly passionate singing or the reliance on digital delay and texture as a defining compositional element, Por Nada definitely show themselves to be fans of groups like the Chameleons and the Sound, but with their own particularly dreamy interpretation. If anything the cascading rush of feedback towards the end of the opening song "A Man of Action" is as indebted to shoegaze as anything else, while the quiet-into-loud structure and subtle time shifts of other songs suggest a more restrained take on the band's fellow Canucks in the Constellation Records galaxy of groups. (The band's admitted Mogwai-bias can also be sensed throughout, even in the title of one song as "Nancy Kerrigan.") Together the result is a fine blend of nervous tension and atmospheric sweep, and while the band doesn't have an all-out anthem quite yet under its belt, give the group time. Singer/guitarist Matthew Skopyk is more content to let the music do the talking than anything else, but he and Jordan Harrison make a strong guitar team, though the secret weapon of the band may well be the Andrew "Tiny" Wood/Milap Petigara rhythm section. They can take charge of a song from the start -- check the motorik-inspired drive that kicks off the release's strongest number, "With Ribs Intact" -- but can also stand back until the right moment. When they suddenly sweep in halfway through "I Can Trust Your Hands," the effect is thrilling. Por Nada are still building on what they have to hand now, but their future could be promising if they keep taking more risks and hit that type of songwriting that carries along an audience from start to finish.
Huge Granite Structure Fell Out of the Sky Review
by Ned Raggett