“Mémoire” by How Comes The Constellations Shine is an utter delight to consume … a rewarding listening experience from beginning to end – it is down-right attractive on first impressions then gives more with repeated engagement. I, for one, have had it on near-constant rotation … with it competing with Miles Davis, Ennino Morricone, Naal & A Veil Of Water for my attention.
And I can comfortably state that it fits in nicely with that kind of peer group – it is deeply engaging, immersive, and cinematic in its scope and execution.
What sets this album apart from other post-rock releases is their relative tautness … How Comes The Constellations Shine have a conciseness about their delivery that demonstrates the handle they have on their chosen craft. Tracks are not over-wrought or themes over-played. In fact, the opening track – “overture” – is their longest track … clocking in 10:34. Their tracks have a punch to them … an urgency to communicate their intended message then move on. I appreciate that.
Don’t get me wrong … there is a place for long-form pieces but there is also a place for punchier tracks … and How Comes The Constellations Shine deliver this in “Mémoire”.
“Overture” is a terrific opening. It sets the scene for the remainder of the album with its ambience, build up, and powerful guitar play. The drums alone provided me, as a listener, with a delightful sense of anticipation as the track opens up … a feeling that is heightened when the guitars really kick off. It is a truly terrific track and an exemplary opener.
The albums builds from this opener … leading on to tracks like “School Days” with its synth-based melodic highlights or “Alaska” with its glitchy foundation underpinning a truly memorable and surprisingly hummable melody … a track reminiscent of The Echelon Effect.
“Black Hair” has an ethereal, floaty quality about that provides some well deserved respite from the statacco-infused walls of sound. It is truly beautiful … an oasis of calm before the wonderfully rhythmic “motherf**ker” with its piano-driven melody, decidedly chunky beats, even chunkier guitars, and some weird space noises that flow in and out to make this an exceptionally beautiful track.
The thing is … all the tracks on this album are beautiful in one way or another. “She’s blonde and says Uau a lot” has a synthy undercurrent before a staccato-based guitar melody comes to the fore. It is another oasis of calm on this release and simply stunning.
We then have the driven track – “Shattered Glass” – which builds and builds from the first chords played on the piano … and, in doing so, creates a tremendous atmosphere of anticipation that has a really cinematic quality about it … especially when the pounding drums kick in. “Shattered Glass” is the stand-out track for me … which says something because the content on this album is exemplary.
The last three tracks really work to end the album on a high. “The Wind Will Carry Us” is a delightfully melodic guitar-orientated piece. A track that deceives the listener into thinking it is another respite piece before kicking into some lovely mid-tempo guitar work before kicking in again … harder and louder. This is such a beautiful track – one that gives “Shattered Glass” a run for its money as the stand-out track.
The penultimate track – “On Rascals” -has an almost jaunty vibe about it. The guitar playing on this track is immaculate and the melody divine. I could see this becoming a well-known soundtrack piece … it has that cinematic quality about it, especially when it all gets a bit fuzzy near the end. This is my kind of post-rock.
We then have the final track – the “Mémoire” journey finishes with “Western Media Avenue” – and what a finish it is. How Comes The Constellations Shine pull out all the stops with a decidedly rhythmic, upbeat, and colourfully jaunty number … a track that leaves a very favourable impression.
All in How Comes The Constellations Shine have created something beautiful with “Mémoire” … an album that will last the test of time. Kudos to Fluttery for having the savvy to secure this album for their roster. It sits well with their other material on offer and complements the work of Ana Never and Arms Of Tripoli extremely well.
With that in mind I will happily give this album 9 out of 10 and will look forward to hearing more from How Comes The Constellations Shine in the future.