11 Jul 2022 - Thorsten
Post-Metal | Pelagic Records | Release date: 08 Jul 2022 | Favorite song: Everything is Fine
Hiroe is a new band which has just released their debut album – on Pelagic Records and it must mean something if the big players in post-metal want to publish your debut! Nothing less than that your music must be really promising and the band from Philly surely is promising a lot of good things as their post-rock is shifty and playful but also serious and seductively light.
And the quintet not only has the support of Robin and Pelagic, no, they also got support from three well-known people: Mario Quintero, of Spotlights fame, Matt Bayles, founding member of Minus The Bear and a long-time production genius, and Will Yip, who has produced basically everybody that was important in punk and hardcore over the last 12+ years! When these three guys want to help you with recording, mixing and mastering then your songs usually hold up and hold tight.
In the case of this five track, 27 minute long debut EP the songs really hold up which is very interesting as the band only has a regular rhythm section and three guitars (!!) - the latter also resulting in one key questions that main-songwriter Eric Kusanagi asked himself: “What is possible with three guitars?” and the answer is not only “A lot!” but more – because they really follow the idea of what post-rock makes still intriguing – its playfulness with timbres, tunings and timing as it obviously important to give the three guitars a lot of space but at the same time they should not run amok uncontrolled. One perfect example for that necessity of holding the reigns is the final track ”Doom Moon” - when listening to the track it is noticeable how every single guitar has a certain space for itself in which it can play to its own wishes (within a certain range, of course). Now the mixing is important because each guitar track must be noticeable within the mix and yet is not allowed to dominate and tower over the others. The tracks are multi-layered with one guitar often laying the heavy base on which the other two can then spread their synth-like tunes or some really nice, pearly arpeggios.
Yes, people might say they heard this kind of stuff and song-writing before with bands like PG. Lost or Caspian but Hiroe is a little bit doomier and has a certain playfulness to it. ”Everything is Fine” is such a fine (sorry for the pun) example as it is really light and flowing. When the second guitar is layered above the semi-acoustic opening line, one can see both guitars dance around each other – and maybe their guitarists too? The later might seem like another bad dad joke but there is a certain truth to it: it is really obvious how much these five individuals enjoy playing together. Isn’t that one of the nicest things to say about music and its musicians? This might be a debut but because it is, it also contains all that mischievous frolicking a band can only ever really have once – with its debut. This debut is loads of fun and Pelagic did well to release it. The next one will hopefully be as joyful as this one!