AU ABROAD

Album Review: Jakob - Sines (2014 LP)

'Blind Them with Science' takes the lead for the album, displaying a sheer defiant spirit that burns throughout the rest of the tracks. It's been eight years since Jakob's last album, eight long years of injuries, frustration and bad luck, and this album is very much a triumphant middle finger to all of that. The mournful 'Emergent' follows the ferocious first track, orchestral strings weaving another layer of melody to the singing guitar and echoing bass. 'Magna Carta' is when the band starts to slowly flex its muscles, as the slow, controlled start gives way to wonderful warped guitar driven by the drum's incessant battering rhythm.

But that's just a warmup for 'Harmonia', the first half of which beautifully soars away before the band gives way to strings in a nice reversal of the normal post-rock structure. 'Resolve' is an elemental force of a song dominated by plunging bass notes, pounding drumming and wild guitar. It's the longest track on the album at just over nine minutes but utterly absorbing. 'Darkness' is a calmer wander through an all-encompassing soundscape, like walking through a field of stars. And finally, 'Sines' closes the album with a slow noisy swell of guitar, finishing with a fading hint of pure melody.

Post-rock is meant to be all about the crescendos but what sets the great bands apart from the good bands is what they do in the quiet moments. Jakob is the master of this, each small quiet guitar lick, humming bass note or violin string whisper as enthralling as their wild, whipping crescendos. Sines marks the return of an old master to the genre. with an album of magnificent pure post-rock, an album with an incredible ebb and flow that is Jakob's trademark. It's a reminder of what made me fall in love with this kind of music for the first time, with all of its intensity, delicacy and emotion.

Review Score: 9.5 out of 10

SINES is out through Valve/MGM Australia on October 17th.