Ocean Roar

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In many ways Mount Eerie’s second album of 2012 is more accessible than its predecessor Clear Moon. This may seem like a weird assessment given that the record begins with a hypnotic and repetitive ten minute barrage of crashing drums and organ broken up by one poetic verse and some random random piano notes (a bit like an angry Tim Hecker). Again recorded in Phil Elverum’s very own studio “The Unknown” (an old de-sanctified church in Anacortes, Washington), the comforting thing about this record is that it doesn’t skip around the obscure genres quite so much, which may be a disappointment to some but to many it will be a blessing. Don’t get me wrong, Ocean Roar is still as eccentric as they come and there is a clear split between side A and side B. But the songs share common themes, side A has the aforementioned aggressive burst of drums, organ and the haunting piano running through it, and on side B things get a bit more intense. The second half of the record sees Elverum harnessing the “loud” of post-rock’s “quiet/loud” approach on three pulsating, occasionally epic instrumentals. These are nicely broken up by the surprising “I Walked Home Beholding”, a rare song which is a song in the traditional sense of the word, it’s even got a lyrical narrative and structured chord patterns, a novel approach indeed. What we’re left with is a coherent, if occasionally overwhelming but always enthralling album.