Little is known about Dutch post-rockers Mescaliner. Describing themselves as ‘reclusive’, this enigmatic lot let their music do the talking avoiding all the trappings of online gossip and hype. Owing a huge debt to old hands of the genre, Mogwai but with inclinations towards the progressive rock spectrum “Willow Spree” is an album that’ll have many stroking their chins. Being entirely instrumental is a risky move, but Mescaliner embrace the challenge and come up trumps.
What’s so striking about “Willow Spree” is its ability to capture and retain your attention during 45 minutes of towering melodies and pithy guitar work. Opener ‘Never Look Back’ is a brooding seven minute epic which intensifies from delicate guitar tinklings to a crescendo of tech-metal inspired riffs. There is a blues tinted edge to their guitar work, evocative of the early experiments of the 70s progressive rock movement such as King Crimson and Pink Floyd. The seemingly effortless flow between stylistic and time signature changes on songs like ‘Lost And Found’ and ‘Sonapur’ are a majestic evolution, with an indefinite dejection weaved into the albums ambience.
The inclusion of calmer song like ‘Untitled’ ensure Willow… doesn’t hurtled around the place at breakneck speed, and is a welcome juxtaposition to the rest of the album. Ending on the suitable titled ‘Skyscraper’, an 11 minute weaving spectacle that ensure the Willow… goes out with a bang. This is an impressive post-rock tour de force.