Not all who wander are lost. In fact, many wanderers know exactly where they are – in the first two-thirds of a post-rock song. Love or hate it, the “crescendo-core” formula has been a successful one, and Magma Waves are not out to challenge it with their debut …And Who Will Take Care of You Now, a record that finds its groove somewhere in roads well-trodden by the likes of If these Trees Could Talk and God Is an Astronaut. While the heyday of such post-rock titans is now past, the expanse of sound they created has the same appeal as ever; it’s a portrait of the sublime, calming in its repetition yet exhilarating in its drama. An acoustic ocean to swim through, cross, or simply get lost in.

…And Who Will Take Care of You Now (a title hereafter abbreviated to help your page load faster) is not an inventive album, but it is at times a beautiful one. “I Am Afraid of You” sets off from a cerulean introduction into carefully plucked melodies, stirred by tasteful drumming into a constant motion. It never seems to settle into a riff long enough to call it home, but that becomes part of the song’s appeal – it steps always just ahead of you until that payoff at the very end. Magma Waves know how to write a good post-rock song, and it shows across the album. 65daysofstatic‘s less glitchy side gets synthesized in “SCRT,” and the band confidently plunge through its alternating episodes of trepidation and courage.

Later in the album, “Fall of Columbia” provides another excellent example of their comfortable songwriting and puts the spotlight on perhaps my favorite part of the album, an appropriately restrained but constantly lively drum performance, courtesy of kitmaster Dennis Strillinger. When paired with the band’s spacey, delay-riddled leads, Strillinger’s drums create a commendable texture in AWWTCoYN, and in an album where every song is at least seven minutes long, that second-by second topography can’t be overvalued. It’s a joy, then, that the mix of AWWTCoYN is both velvety soft and and unsparing in detail, casting a raking light across every wrinkle and exposing the tiniest shadows in the fabric. The band’s quietest moments are rendered in detail and their most forceful perfomances stand stark against the background. When “Cloak & King” goes from wailing to a delicate melody plucked straight from a Mono album, it’s not a drop in intensity, just a different fold in the canvas.

There’s no catch to AWWTCoYN; the album is unmitigatedly honest and sounds very live. There are a few riffs here and there that I could do without, but Magma Waves never seem to choose a bad riff or awkward chord progression to stick on, making the songs not a bit challenging to listen to. The album’s centerpiece, “Portals,” breaks midway to bare a bassline that’s a bit on the poppy side for my tastes, but immediately dresses it in such beautiful livery that I find it hard to fault. For its entirety, AWWTCoYN swings between soothing and searing, making sure to get its money’s worth from every point between.

It’s the whole post-rock package; AWWTCoYN boasts good songs, tasteful performances, and a charming production job. It’s not a modern classic or overwhelming in any way, but it’s certainly an achievement for the young band and a treat for any who listen to it. As someone who hasn’t paid attention to the post-rock scene in quite a while, this album offered me a soothing change of pace and I’m sure I’ll come back to it when the time is right. It is neither boring nor bathetic, as “post-” albums all too often are, and while it brings nothing new or spectacular to the table, it heaps what it has thick across the surface.


Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Narshardaa Records
Websites: magmawaves.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/magmawaves
Releases Worldwide: September 15th, 2017

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  • Brutalist_Receptacle

    HEH HEH. POST ROCK PACKAGE. HEH.

    • HeavyMetalHamster

      Hahahahahaha!. …….I don’t get it..

      • Nag Dammit

        He is a box made of rock. Or a rock box if you will.

  • maartje

    I didn’t know the word “bathetic”, so I looked it up on google translate. Apparently it’s Xhosa for “acetic acid”. Which indeed doesn’t seem to apply for this kind of music.

    • Scrotor

      adj: producing an unintentional effect of anticlimax

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      “Pathetic” with an accent?

    • Nukenado

      ba·thet·icbə-ˈthe-tik
      adjective
      : characterized by bathos
      ba·thet·i·cal·ly -ti-k(ə-)lē adverb
      Origin: bathos + -etic (as in pathetic).
      First use: 1845

      • maartje

        Interesting ! I have an album called “Bathos” from avantgarde funeral doom band Aarni. A fitting title, it treads the fine line between genius and sillyness …

  • defjam

    Very articulate review

  • SoLeftISeeRight

    If you have Magma in your band name, I expect an exceptional drum performance.

  • I feel the 3.0 in this, it just doesn’t get me over the line of post-rock-orgasm I’m looking for. Being a fan of Rest (check out Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame on Bandcamp), Cult Of Luna (more than Isis, Neurosis, etc.), a bit of Mogwai, Battles and 65daysofstatic, can anyone recommend me some more stuff in this vein that might have the climaxes I’m looking for?

    • Name’s Dalton

      Paul Newman
      Slint
      The Mercury Program
      Turing Machine
      Dilute
      The Feud
      Early Day Miners
      The Building Press
      Tarentel
      Dianogah
      Shipping News
      June of 44 (has vocals)
      Bitch Magnet (to some degree)
      Ativin
      Maserati
      A Minor Forest
      NONE OF THESE ARE METAL

      • Name’s Dalton

        Hood is also outstanding.

    • Sioum – I Am Mortal, But Was Fiend (their newer one is good too, but a bit less organic, more clinical.)

      Betrayal at Bespin (they win at the band name competition) – Rains.

      Barrows – Imprecari Island.

      Audrey Fall – Mitau.

    • Cody Miller

      Moonlit Sailor are great. Although, they are much more like Explosions in the Sky. I’ll name off all the more interesting post rock bands. Brontide. Laura, The End of the Ocean, Ganger, Last Lungs, *Shels, Toe, and U137 (drummer for Moonlit Sailor. Recently died, unfortunately.)

    • Cheers everyone!

  • HeavyMetalHamster
    • Name’s Dalton

      But are they ill-tempered?

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Not all who wander are Post.

  • Innit Bartender

    BTW, there’s a new Godspeed You! Black Emperor album out.

    • h_f_m

      This excited me greatly, there’s a few tracks out but it looks like the entire album proper drops 9/22 (unless you use nefarious means to procure it).

  • FelixtheMetalcat

    I am afraid of you sounds to me like classic Agalloch….

  • h_f_m

    Geneva by Russian Circles is still the height of this genre for my ears.. I heart that album so much..

  • Malhorne

    There is a typo in the third paragraph “The band’s quietest moments are rendered in detail and their most forceful perfoRmances stand stark against the background” the R of perfoRmances is lacking!