Release Date: Oct 12, 2010
Record label: Temporary Residence
Seamlessly blending every “post-” genre into one package, Tokyo’s Envy continue to amaze and innovate on Recitation. The thing that immediately stands out on the album is the patient composition of the songs, allowing them to slowly work themselves into a crescendo without ever rushing things, giving the songs a “best things come to those who wait” kind of feeling. For the impatient, all of this building can seem a bit tedious, but as Recitation unfolds, songs like “Last Hours of Eternity” and “Light and Solitude” show again and again that listeners are in capable hands as they slowly make their way to the seven-minute mark.
Japanese noise-monsters [a]Envy[/a] are no strangers to the quiet-loud-ear-bleedingly-louder dynamic used by their label bosses [a]Mogwai[/a]. In keeping with their post-rock roots, ‘[b]Recitation[/b]’ is a tumultuous addition to their previous cerebral offerings. Pummelling screamo chant-cum-divertimento ‘[b]A Breath Clad In Happiness[/b]’ and the fury of ‘[b]Rainclouds Running In A Holy Night[/b]’ coexist effortlessly with gentle opener ‘[b]Guidance[/b]’ and the serenade of ‘[b]A Hint Of The Incapacity[/b]’, proving that big bursts of cacophonous bedlam and instrumental sentimentality aren’t mutually exclusive.
The band at their genre-bridging best Veteran Japanese noisemongers in traditional English Christmas carol shocker! Well, not quite, but have a listen to the recurring guitar melody in ‘Rainclouds Running In A Holy Night’, the third song on offer here, and tell us it doesn’t remind you of ‘The First Noel’. Festive frivolity aside, ‘Recitation’ finds the band at their genre-bridging best, sounding, if anything, even more euphoric and life-affirming than before. Instrumental passages evoke the soaring grandeur of Mono and Explosions In The Sky, while at the opposite end of the spectrum, cuts like ‘Dreams Coming To An End’ exude pure fire and urgency.