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Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Record Review - Pelican


Ataraxia/Taraxis EP

Southern Lord CD

This is their first material from Pelican since their 4th album from 2009, What We All Come to Need and my first entrée to the band. This short EP is perhaps not the ideal starting point for a new listener but certainly represents a solid platform for the uninitiated to get a taste of what the band are about.

It’s difficult to exactly classify Pelican’s style but they play a kind of intelligent instrumental stoner prog with interesting arrangements and a rather impressively dynamic use of sound. Opening track ‘Ataraxia’ builds up slowly with an acoustic guitar riff over a subtly disquieting ambient backdrop. That same riff is then launched like an electric petrol bomb on ‘Lathe Biosas’, before the mood changes to dense prog on the doomy ‘Parasite Colony’. The final track ‘Taraxis’ then showcases all these moods in a classic quiet/loud eardrum blitz.

This is certainly an enjoyable release though it left me hungry for more as the eighteen minute duration of the EP didn’t do full justice to all the ideas the band demonstrated on the material. It did succeed however, in making me look forward to their next album and eager to check out their earlier LPs, which was probably the intention in the first place

Austin Matthews

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