Rating:
8.2
Collapse Under The Empire - Shoulders & Giants
2011


01. Shoulders
02. Giants
03. There's No sky
04. The Last Reminder
05. The Sky Is The Limit
06. Disclosure
07. After The Thaw
08. Days Of Freezing
09. Incident
10. A Riot Of Emotion


Collapse Under The Empire is an instrumental post-rock group that incorporates subtle aspects of electronica into their music. The result is sometimes eerie and sometimes unsettling but, for the most part, is pretty; songs on this seem like they were built for those days when all you want to do is follow a flock of birds through a field toward some mountains by yourself. It is, above all else, a dreamy, relaxing listen.

Nevertheless, this is post; amidst all of the beauty and gentle bleeps and bloops of the electronics, there are a number of anxiety-fueled, metal-style crescendos strewn in throughout. And, honestly they're probably the only thing that truly keeps tracks on this from feeling stagnant. It just happens that they don't really do anything for me. They burst and pop, but never really land a solid punch. They have a weakness to them that might seem suiting within the bigger picture, I guess, but that's also slightly disappointing.

Then again, if anything, that points more to what CUTE do well than to what they do poorly. Shoulders & Giants is almost exclusively about build-ups. Rather than relying on the shock and awe of its explosive moments, this derives nearly all of its power from the journey toward the distortion, rather than the distortion itself. It's not really about the emotion-hopping, in the end—it's about the preparation for the emotion hopping beforehand.

True, most of the tracks do end up melting into the same sonic blob as the others, but the sonic blob here is a pleasant one. The electronics add a glittering quality to what CUTE do, juxtaposing nicely over the barren, deserted quality of the ol' analogs, giving Shoulders a more colorful and fantastical feel than many of their contemporaries in the post genres. Something that makes Shoulders & Giants stick out over those SSDD post discs that old man Bitter's been pointing out lately.


Website: http://collapseundertheempire.com


 



Written on 31.01.2012 by
wormdrink414
Wormdrink's real name is George and he works at a convenience store in the Eugene/Springfield area.
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R'Vannith - 31.01.2012 at 06:03  
Sounds very interesting with the electronic element, might give this a go. And I like that cover art, you make it sound as if it fits the music well.

heh, CUTE
Grimskallen - 31.01.2012 at 08:41  
These guys finally were featured on MS, sweet.
Actually the first thing you find by doing a search for "post rock" on youtube is a song of theirs.
This record is a sounds beautiful, and so is the cover.
BloodTears - 31.01.2012 at 11:11  
This sounds like something I would enjoy.
malaikat - 31.01.2012 at 11:37  
Where is Boxcar Willy saying "I'm gonna check this".
Kuroboshi - 31.01.2012 at 11:47  
I'll say it for him. I'm gonna check this.
Grimskallen - 31.01.2012 at 17:03  
Staff will probably hate me for this, but... If this band is included, why no love for Mogwai?
Mogwai's own myspace does say: Metal / Psychedelic / Rock. (Not suggesting this alone is proof of a band's metalness)
But check out obvious metal sound in the tracks; We're No Here / Glasgow Mega Snake.
neonxaos - 31.01.2012 at 22:25  
Written by Grimskallen on 31.01.2012 at 17:03

Staff will probably hate me for this, but... If this band is included, why no love for Mogwai?
Mogwai's own myspace does say: Metal / Psychedelic / Rock. (Not suggesting this alone is proof of a band's metalness)
But check out obvious metal sound in the tracks; We're No Here / Glasgow Mega Snake.


Mogwai definitely gave birth to most of this genre.
Grimskallen - 31.01.2012 at 22:39  
Written by neonxaos on 31.01.2012 at 22:25

Written by Grimskallen on 31.01.2012 at 17:03

Staff will probably hate me for this, but... If this band is included, why no love for Mogwai?
Mogwai's own myspace does say: Metal / Psychedelic / Rock. (Not suggesting this alone is proof of a band's metalness)
But check out obvious metal sound in the tracks; We're No Here / Glasgow Mega Snake.


Mogwai definitely gave birth to most of this genre.

I was more aiming for Mogwai being metallic sounding enough to be featured on this site (Well at least hoping staff thinks so), especially when C.U.T.E are featured. Apart from that, both bands are excellent
Boxcar Willy - 01.02.2012 at 06:06  
Written by malaikat on 31.01.2012 at 11:37

Where is Boxcar Willy saying "I'm gonna check this".

Actually I'll pass on this, I'm not a fan of electronic elements in music, nor am I really a fan of post-rock.
Dark Blood - 01.02.2012 at 21:18  
This is really nice (or should I say CUTE?). The first thing I did after reading the review was searching them on youtube, and my first impression was "I must have this". Very interesting album, and nice review btw.
tea[m]ster - 02.02.2012 at 04:14  
Nice job explaining what makes this stand out over the rest of the bands in this over-saturated genre!

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