The new Shy, Low record is an EP containing three tracks which the band sees as an elongation of their last record Snake behind the Sun - good for us because there is no decline in musical quality. Not at all, so much is obvious!
Obviously, the record is connected to its predecessor also by means of the covers. Babylonica and its cover have a clear connection to Snake … as both records share the simple silhouette of a human being (most likely a male one), but nothing else. It’s just the outline, the shape and nothing more that we could identify. Additionally, some graphic elements like a one-color-only palette (here golden, while on the full-length it was a nice deep red) and some kind of frame around it. So much for that.
But also music-wise it is noticeable that these tracks share some connections to the previous one, the eruptions are very well-laid out and sometimes come a tiny bit surprising, as they are not always the final destination of a long, winding build-up, but rather exactly that – sudden eruptions. The arpeggios are wonderfully melodic and pointy and make for a truly recognizable sound, which is one of the best things anyone can say about a Post-Rock/Metal band, right? There is a tiny difference and that are the drums, as Dylan is now a full-time member of the band and this is the first time he really had a hand in writing and structuring the tracks, which sometimes shows in the fills and licks he uses to give the songs more depth, for example when he is playing a marching drum underneath the short break before the seismic moment at around 6:00 in of ”The Salix”. The guy not only looks wild, but he is also a crazy, wild drummer who does a wonderful job on these tracks.
However, when a record is called Babylonica - not everything should be clear about it at first glance. When looking at the title of track number two – that’s one of these head-scratching moments. But in the end, it’s nothing more coordinates to a place in Georgia which holds some personal meaning for one of the band members. Which one? Well, find out! The track itself is a melancholic bit of ambient overlaps and shifts, a well-done interlude between ”The Salix” and ”Instinctual Estrangement”, which opens up on a sunset of a guitar hook, warm and bright and beaming. That the track afterwards becomes one heavy monster might not be clear from the get-go, but it also shouldn’t come as a surprise!
The record is a really good dose of methadone until we get their next full-length and one thing is already clear: Having added Dylan makes a lot of sense and surely feels and sounds right. We can be excited for the next material the guys are gonna throw our way. Obviously!