On Disc: Pelican

Album: City of Echoes

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

City of Echoes by Pelican

City of Echoes
Hydrahead Records

4 stars

Pelican’s heavy yet delicate instrumental outfit is a sonic bombardment.

Its latest offering, City of Echoes, serves up the same fan-pleasing array of baritone guitars as in previous releases. Unlike Australasia and The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw, however, the band has cut down its tracks into tasty morsels under seven minutes each.

Along with the more neatly packaged songs comes a sound that’s more melodic and less predictable.

Take, for example, the single piano note that cuts through the chaos of “Spaceship Broken "Needs Repairs” and imagine what other sound could possibly fit.

In “Winds with Hands,” Pelican throws off veteran listeners with acoustic guitars that gallop and parade toward a collaboration with the whole band only to trail off into the next song.

Through disciplined songwriting and clever arrangement, Pelican has avoided repeating its previous records and has furthered its credibility as one of the more influential heavy bands.

Due to the production work of Steve Albini (who recorded Nirvana), City of Echoes’ warm, off-the-floor sound suggests the album was polished and ready before Pelican entered the studio.

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