Do you long for the otherworldly tones of prog-rock but find all those wailing vocals and wizard capes a tad unappealing? Are you as happy at a rave as a gig, just so long as the music flows just right? In that case you may be partial to Athens, Georgia natives Maserati, an instrumental post rock outfit who declare themselves to be as sleek and sexy as the sports car from which they take their name from. New album “Maserati VII” does a fair old job of justifying this claim, for once the music starts, it’s pretty obvious that this is one ride into the void that you’ll want to stay in your seat for.
While post rock has never held much sex-appeal, when merged with the pulsating dance beats and psychedelic flourishes that is the Maserati modus operandi it becomes something entirely different, and any images of weak-armed bearded hipsters will be instantly gone from your mind. This is helped majorly by Steve Moore of Zombi who not only mixed the record but whose frantic synth lines are all over the album like restless pulsars from another galaxy entirely. This is first evidenced on the psychedelic-trance like album opener ‘San Angeles’ which comes across almost like Ozric Tentacles covering Pelican. There’s still enough spiralling leads to remind you of the post rock core but it’s hard to imagine this being released on Hydra Head (RIP).
‘Martin Rev’ moves along at a statelier pace, with its gradually building rhythm and chiming keys displaying elements of both prog and post-rock yet with no desire to stay for long in either camp. In contrast, ‘The Eliminator’ and ‘Flashback’ are rapid synth numbers that wouldn’t be out of place in a neon-lit 80s action flick where heroes and villains in white suits exchange gun-fire in the streets of an ever-lit metropolis.
The echoing guitar melodies of ‘Abracadabracab’ have more of a restless feel than the methodical psychedelia of the rest of the track, seemingly urging to escape from their boundaries and fly off into space entirely, although the repetition of these flourishes does come across as a tad artificial. Maserati’s strength comes across in the free-flowing, experimental nature of these tracks, with the build-and-collapse tactics of post-rock a perfect conduit for the jazzy synths that make up the melodies.
The heavily digitised refrains of album closer ‘San Tropea’ sound otherworldly in their synthetic nature; the trip into deep space is nearing its end and we’re now in some alien nightclub at 3am and we’ve just imbibed some dodgy looking space dust from a glowing squid like entity who wants to talk to you about how underrated Tangerine Dream were. You would stop to talk, but you can’t prevent your body from dancing to the strange melodies emanating from the monolith you’re all gathered around. Plus to make it better, no-one’s wearing a cape. This all goes on for several million years, or could it be minutes, before “Maserati VII” comes to an end and you hit play again, for why would you want this to stop?