Fickle. That’s probably the best word to describe my listening habits. I like too many styles of music and really have to be in the mood for a fair amount of what’s on my iPod. My listening habits are likely to change if (a) I don’t find what fits my mood or (b) my mood changes.
I love droning ambient pieces when I need to relax … dub techno DJ mixes really fit the bill when I need to concentrate … death metal comes to the fore when I need to be energetic and, well, Marvin Gaye makes his presence felt when I need to get all energetic too … you know, that special sort of energetic.
Instrumental rock genres like Post-Rock and Math Rock are very special to me because they cross so many boundaries and hold something I really treasure – variety. The ebb and flow … the light and dark … the soft and hard … the quiet and loud … the slow and the fast … all play their part in keeping my fickle mind in check and my hands away from my iPod.
One band in particular gets this variety like no other and that is Arms of Tripoli – a Post / Math / Instrumental rock outfit from Los Angeles that consists of members from various LA based bands, including Signal Hill, The Lights From Here, The Half Mantis Group, and Naked in the Dark. Their EP, “all the fallen embers” is something very special indeed.
Released on the exemplary Fluttery Records, “all the fallen embers” is 30 minutes of sheer joy. Arms of Tripoli have created an EP of fluid movement … an EP that snakes, sways and dances in the mind of the listener. The music presented on this EP does not and cannot stand still or remain static. It is like someone listening to a Kelzmer band at a wedding … the music like the wedding guest cannot help but move … and I, for one, love that about it.
In fact, there is nothing not to love about this release. Their riffs are tight and their melodies imaginative … and they keep my mind entertained at each and every sitting.
I guess this is why I love progressive rock so much and why I see instrumental bands like Arms of Tripoli taking the spirit of prog … that inventive, engaging fluidity … and taking it to new places … their new places and to new audiences … their audiences.
Please don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a prog EP … but the spirit of prog is apparent … at least to me … and again, for me, this is a big plus.
Tracks like “Waking Eyes” are pure joy … as a track it grows in confidence over its 6 minutes. It has such a delightful melody and a real touch … an expert touch … one that develops as the track evolves. When the guitar really kicks in after 2 and 1/2 minutes, it is a done-deal … Arms of Tripoli have me like putty in their hands. But then it is gone before you are even aware of your loss, such is their mastery and musicianship. I am left in wonder … wondering what comes next … where will this track turn. I feel the build up and all I can do is bask in this wonder and wait.
Such is this EP … an EP of beautiful guitar-orientated instrumental rock music … an EP of such wonder and technical mastery that all I can do is sit back and soak it up. You know when you are in the presence of greatness – this is one such time.
The thing is … this is beauty that even my fickle mind can comprehend. As such I will happily recommend this release and eagerly give it 9 out of 10.
I will look to their future releases with anticipation.