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Sounds Like the End of the World - 2017 - "Stories"

(39:21, Progressive Promotion Records)

TRACK LIST:                  

1. No Trespassing 5:22
2. Walk With Me 6:13
3. Breaking the Waves 6:21
4. Obsession 4:31
5. Faults 5:25
6. Outflow 4:00
7. Acceptance 3:05
8. All Over Again 4:24


Michal Badecki
Michal Baszuro
Tomasz Hoffman
Wojciech Kowal
Michal Koziorowski
Jan Galach

Prolusion. Polish band SOUNDS LIKE THE END OF THE WORLD was formed in 2012. and released a first initial EP one year later, and their full length debut album followed in 2014. Three years and some line-up alterations later they return with their second album "Stories", which was released through German label Progressive Promotion Records in the spring of 2017.

Analysis. This fairly recent Polish band have opted to specialize in a brand of progressive rock a bit to the side of what the most prominent bands from their home turf has become famous for. They create instrumental material, and then first and foremost of the kind most people would file under the post-rock description at that. This specific album was recorded live in studio, and I would rather suspect that the end result here is one that does feature at least some improvised details here and there for that very reason. I would also guess that the music here is rather similar to what they may well sound like when seen live, and from what I can see these guys are an active live unit. The material as such isn't of the kind that will give anyone any revelations as far as post-rock is concerned. Those who enjoy this type of music will enjoy this album too, those who won't will most likely not be convinced by the material at hand here, even as the band have their particular take on the style. Alternating gentle and harder edged sections is the key approach here, with delicate plucked guitar details and careful rhythms and keyboards for the former and tight, harder edged riffs and overlays for the latter. They are rather more intense than many other post-rock bands in these latter passages, but without ever approaching the borders of post metal. Instead they opt for guitar distortions, adding noise textures and subtly dissonant sounds to the proceedings. Fairly often with something of a psychedelic tinged, wild and raw guitar sound as a defining characteristic, but also by using darker, grittier riffs with something of a primal garage rock feel to them at times. Floating keyboard textures is a calming, smooth presence in those instances, and keyboards and the occasional use of what sounds like a sequencer is used to expand the confines of the band in clever manner throughout. There's also a violin presence on a track or two that provides a further expansion of the sonic palette utilized, and unless I'm much mistaken both the drummer and the bassist expands the gentler passages with a slight bit of jazz-oriented details here and there too. This is a well made and well performed album, but one where a taste for this specific subset of the progressive rock universe is both warranted and needed. Some cuts provides some additional pleasure, but by and large I regard this as an album that have been made for the already converted most of all.

Conclusion. Sounds Like the End of the World doesn't really live up to their band name in my view, but their take on post-rock is one that use a few more twisted and noise-flavored guitar details than many other bands of the same kind I've encountered. Fairly typical post-rock, but with a wilder, rougher expression as something of a defining trait. An album that merits a check by post-rock fans that finds such a description alluring.

Progmessor: October 29th, 2017
The Rating Room

Related Links:

Sounds Like the End of the World

Progressive Promotion Records


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