Souvenir's Young America

Souvenir's Young America

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As the first track slowly fades in with its pounding tribal drumming, swirling sci-fi synths, and primal guitar riffage, it becomes apparent that this isn't your typical post-rock. After a brief lulling interlude, the epic-titled "Thirteen for Centaurus" roars back into the neo-metal mode of the Pelican/Red Sparowes ilk, then lurches forward into a galloping charge akin to modern motorik-inspired monoliths like Circle. On their debut album, Souvenir's Young America manage to bring all the classic elements of instrumental rock into play. Vintage prog rockers like Tangerine Dream get equal billing along with acid-drenched utopianists like Amon Düül II and dynamics-obsessed post-rockers like Godspeed You Black Emperor! and Explosions in the Sky, as well as the aforementioned post-metal outfits, not to mention the proto-metal of the godfathers of sludge, Black Sabbath. They combine all of these elements into their very own milieu, and while wearing such influences proudly on their sleeves. they manage to sound like nothing but themselves, a rare talent seen before only in kindred souls like the criminally underexposed grandeur of Grails. The sound of this album, which is surprisingly analog without being remotely lo-fi, is warm, natural, and organic, and brings a primacy to their music of epic proportions. And they manage to summon strong emotions -- ennui, dread, hope, elation -- without so much as a single word or vocal. Important music like this deserves to be heard.

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