Time Well

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The sophomore studio long-player from the northeast Indiana-based trio, Time Well delivers on the promise of Cloakroom's excellent 2015 debut with a ten-track set of sludge metal and shoegaze-addled post-rock that blurs the line between seismic and serene. Steeped in the noisy/calm aural landscaping of '90s slowcore, but not above dropping an elephantine load of sonic cement on the proceedings when they see fit, Cloakroom have crafted a diary of Midwest desolation that's all atmosphere, be it clear-blue skies or suffocating green storm clouds. The songs may germinate from lo-fi indie and grunge-era guitar rock, but Time Well is at its most absorbing when it shifts out of those constructs into post-metal exploration mode, which it does at some point on nearly every track -- even the lone non-original cut, a 19th century spiritual called "Hymnal," eventually achieves liftoff. The band distills these two predilections most effectively on the singles "Big World" and "Seedless Star," both of which suggest Red House Painters by way of the Melvins, but it's the brooding title song that nearly captures what's so elusive about the band. What begins as a relatively simple, acoustic guitar-led slacker jam about disappearing into the creative process eventually does just that, but not before unleashing a torrent of ethereal feedback that creeps in so slowly that, by the time the listener has adjusted to its beautiful violence, the storm has already passed.

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