Tracer AMC – In Rivers e.p – Eclectic Honey Review

It feels like a very long time since Tracer AMC last graced our stereos. Too long in fact. Their debut album Flux and Form still stands up as one of the finest post-rock albums released in recent times, and this 12″ 4 track EP thankfully takes up where its predecessor left off.

Opening track In Rivers offers a subjugated and entranced introduction harnessed by the band’s trademark textured layers. After a couple of minutes heightening the tension, the drum beats assume responsibility, supported by a melodic guitar line that soars through the lilting bassline. Meanwhile the delicately constructed and tenderly delivered The Russian Threat evokes Mogwai et al at their finest.

The flipside reveals Blue Thread Numbers 2 and 3, where the band’s endeavours are supplemented by Beth Winter’s superb violin. As a result the dark atmospherics of In Rivers give way to a lighter blend of math rock leanings. For the most part, Tracer AMC offer a smoother blend of the apocalyptic experience than a lot of their frequently cited counterparts (Godspeed You Black Emperor, Tortoise), almost marrying the pop-song aesthetic with something much more ambitious and substantial. In a sense, Tracer AMC are The Dubliners to Godspeed’s Ulysses.

But as usual their ideas refuse to give up before a highly thorough and complete talking-to by Jonny Ashe and Michael Kinloch, and indeed most of their subtle melodies and riffs feel comfortable just nudging the five minute mark. It gives Tracer AMC’s sentiments enough room to breathe easily without being rushed into premature commitment. Definitely a good augery for the difficult second album. Let’s just say it’s certainly worth digging out the turntable for this one.

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