“Infinity” is the debut release from Indiana trio Cloakroom. Formed by Doyle Martin out of the ashes of Grown Ups, they sound nothing like the pop punk Martin and his compadres were making previously. The band describe themselves as slowcore, emo and stoner but my initial feelings were to label them shoegaze doom – something I’m sure they won’t thank me for.
But who can blame me when ‘Sedimentary’ creeps in with slow, haunted vocals, with a washed out production, flat and world-weary vocals, but shot through with an underlying prettiness? It reminds me of Ride, and something else I can’t quite put my finger on yet. The track builds into a more confident alt-metal sound à la Biffy Clyro but with distorted, soaring guitars adding to the shoegaze vibe. It breaks down and builds up over a two note bass riff like a ticking clock and bursts into fat riffing passage, which is when you realise the nagging similarities you’re hearing are with Baroness’ recent output – ‘Mtns. (The Crown & Anchor)’ in particular.
There’s a lot going on in that opening track, so much so an almost bewildering calvalcade of influences spring to mind, with the trouble being I spent so long spotting the influences that I couldn’t recall the tune at all! You don’t really have time to reflect on the identity of individual tracks as it all segues together – ‘Sedimentary’ moves into ‘E’ without any real fuss and in fact it could be part of same song. The whole album is like one piece, with movements rather than individual songs.
‘Dream Journal’ is woozier and yet more aggressive, and then feedback-laden guitar moves into the trippy Deerhunter territory of ‘Bending’. It’s here that, despite their alt-rock sensibilities, you can hear them striving towards the epic. They don’t quite manage it, but the closing clanging instrumental passage is certainly getting there. ‘Mind Funeral’ is more of the same with doomy chords, solemn picking and fuzzy riffs bringing you back to the opening track’s dank yet ethereal stylings.
This album shows much promise, impeccable taste and great playing, but the songwriting isn’t quite up to the task of creating content to hang the rich diversity of beguiling noises upon. That said, fans of everyone from My Bloody Valentine to Baroness will certainly find something to enjoy here.