09 Sep 2021 - Thorsten
Post-Rock | Post.Recordings | Release date: 17 Sep 2021
If Ennio Morricone had ever done a real Post-Rock record – this is what it sounds like. Another awesome release for Post.Recordings and another proof that this genre is alive and kicking as it evokes references out of the ordinary! Some may hear Doomgaze like Outlander, especially in the long, slowly descending outros of the songs, others feel the futuristic sounds as a reminiscence of other Post-Rock acts such as Immanu El – there is one thing that everybody can probably agree on: The soft, lush sounds and warm parts of Driving Slow Motion’s second full-length are wonderful.
Generic. That is a term that some people may apply to Driving Slow Motion’s music and therefore we should get it out of the way as quickly as possible. The definition of the term means: “shared by, typical of, or relating to a whole group of similar things, rather than to any particular thing” (as found on https://dictionary.cambridge.org/de/worterbuch/englisch/generic). Consequently, basically it means nothing else than that one item shares characteristics with a whole group of items, for example all humans breathe. Does that indirectly make “breathing” a generic thing? Something that we apply this now-derogatory term to? Hell, no! It just describes something that connects a larger group of singular entities. Thus there is nothing wrong with the term by definition, it only implies that these characteristics can be used to describe all members of the group, therefore also every single member. Nothing bad about that.
Hence, a lot of the “generic” things to Post-Rock are the instrumental character, the somewhat lengthy songs, the arpeggios and crescendos, the role of the drums being part of the storytelling team, the use of longer intros leading up to a climax of certain extent. And yes, all of that can be said about Adrift:Abyss, the second record by Driving Slow Motion, the five-piece based in Fort Worth, Texas – do not forget that Texas has a somewhat widespread but interesting Post-Rock scene with This Will Destroy You as the frontrunners of good sound from the Lonesome State.
Driving Slow Motion might become the second force in that scene with this album! As it has all of the necessary components and can really, really drive you forward and charge you up with images in your head. The tumbleweeds rolling across the High Street at High Noon. The dark desert at night with the stars shimmering down. The blurry horizons scintillating because of the heat. And generally the wide open spaces. A state twice as big as Germany but less than a third of the inhabitants creates for a lot of room and one can hear that in the songs by Driving Slow Motion. It sometimes feel as if they try to stretch and cover the distant between, for example, El Paso and Dallas. An impossible task, for sure, but in some ways this open-ness is similar to an “abyss” that cannot be bridged by one man (not even five) but the sound can reach out across it easily. And that method of building bridges through sound is definitely something that the five guys are highly capable of, as their songs are generously accessible and do not care for any derogatory thoughts as long amid the crowd of critics there is one ear that hears all they have to say. The strong, metallic whirlwinds (for example in the opening track ”Leaves”) but also the minute little details like the second wave of reverb that then shimmers out. Often I had the feeling of being stuck inside a huge bubble that embraces me but doesn’t suffocate me, that protects me and that doesn’t obscure my vision on things.
All in all, one will say that Adrift:Abyss shares a lot of things with other Post-Rock records, but this is no mimicry this is real good songwriting and therefore worth a lot more than all the stupid, undeserved and un-reflected criticism thrown at you. Texas has another great Post-Rock band that will certainly find a lot of people who like it.
(PS: This would also work as the soundtrack to a TV about American High School Football ;-)