TIDES / GIANT: Split: CD

I’ve heard both of these groups couched in terms like post-metal—and mentioned in the same lists as Red Sparrowes and Pelican. Not having enough familiarity with either of those groups and thinking a term like “post-metal” is kind of dumb, or at least hard as hell for a dolt like me to grasp, I’ll say instead that they’re messing around in that same dark and haunted candy store as Amanda Woodward and their closely related brethren Aussitot Mort. Tides hits us with two instrumentals and Giant delivers “Horned and Blind,” an epic (is that where the metal reference comes in?) thirteen minute-long jam that features five lines of lyrics throughout. Both bands are staunch believers in allowing the tension to simmer through repetition and a melody that finally erupts into a near-chaos wall of noise that manages to avoid total meltdown through the fact that both bands know exactly what they’re doing. It’s all intentional, and it’s precise and pointed enough to read your license plate from space. I’ve been finding myself drawn to this kind of stuff more and more and I’m sure this one’ll get some occasional plays; but even at twenty-six, twenty-seven minutes, three songs total just feels a bit like I’m playing a cassingle or something.

 –keith (Level Plane)