Release Date: Apr 10, 2012
Record label: Southern Lord Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal
Song durations can come to define certain artists, especially when it’s possible to tag their music with all-encompassing terms like 'prog' and 'post-rock'. One of these bands is Pelican, whose last foray into more diminutive durations resulted in 2007’s oft-critiqued City of Echoes, which they themselves describe as their 'pop album', designed to get crowds moving during live shows. With new EP Ataraxia/Taraxis, the Chicago four-piece have returned to songs that barely scrape over the five-minute mark.
It's been a damn long while since we've heard from Pelican. Good to see they haven't lost their charm, then... While Pelican haven’t been particularly prolific of late, the Illinois quartet still pack a post-metal punch more than capable of knocking out the competition. This brief addition to their canon might consist of just four songs, but it’s a potent reminder of why we love them.
Pelican’s move to the Southern Lord label for their 2009 release What We All Come to Need was rather fitting. The label, home of (and really the product of) drone doom lords Sunn 0))) is well known for its crushing heaviness, which a post-metal band like Pelican is no stranger to. Predictably, What We All Come to Need showed a heavier side of Pelican.
Progressive instrumental band Pelican (who recently celebrated their ten-year anniversary) return with their highly anticipated follow-up to 2009's impressive What We All Come to Need. Four-song EP Ataraxia/Taraxis is a natural evolution from that previous release, showcasing their trademark thunderous post-rock sound. It isn't an easy time for melodic instrumental outfits, with the ever-shortening attention spans of listeners, but Pelican once again manage to reel you in as soon as opening track "Ataraxia" kicks in, holding you throughout.
This review originally ran in AP 286. After a two-year dormancy, instrumental post-metal outfit Pelican have lurched out of the ether for an ambitious four-track EP. Wisely, the quartet avoid the well-trodden road of “epic” guitar rock to deliver textures loaded with lyrical guitar phrasings within over-modulated grit and distortion. The fabulous girth of “Lathe Biosas” feels like a fume-rock convention at a biker bar in the middle of the California salt flats, while the dynamic shifts in “Parasite Colony” are worthy of playing over the credits of your favorite revenge movie as your antihero walks off into the unknown.