PELICAN: Forever Becoming: CD/LP

Jun 06, 2014

Forever Becoming is the first full-length from Pelican in four years and is a good mix of the band’s previous works. While the crunchy, heavier parts are reminiscent of The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw (the album that garnered the band critical success), it’s also possible to hear elements of the band’s last album, the somber What We All Come to Need. However, in the case of Forever Becoming, Pelican hasn’t created any of the epic length tunes that were known on some previous albums, as none of the songs top ten minutes. The eight songs in fifty minutes seem like the perfect length. The ability to mix up the sound can be heard throughout the album, as some songs have huge riffs, the kind that find me bobbing my head and playing air guitar, while on songs like “The Thaw,” the lead guitar sounds like it could be from a Red House Painters song, circa mid-1990s. That’s not to say it’s a mellow song, because there’s the heft of the rhythm section backing it, but the lead guitar on its own is dripping with reflective emotion. Speaking of the rhythm section, for all the past complaints about the drumming, Larry Herweg’s work is steady and solid, albeit lacking any creative spark. His brother, Bryan, makes up for any lack of muscle on the part of the drums with a thick, meaty bass sound. It’s nice to hear the bass come up in the mix and give the band some spine. While guitarist Laurent Schroeder-Lebec is no longer in the band, Dallas Thomas has filled in perfectly. His addition hasn’t caused the band to go in an entirely new direction, instead it seems to have given the band some new clarity, especially after not having put out a new full-length in four years. The mix of songs the band has put together here is fresh and creative, but still everything Pelican has come to be known for. If you’re unfamiliar with the band, start here.   –kurt (Southern Lord)