Review Summary: These guys started writing songs about the ocean before it was cool to write songs about the ocean. Defining the genre in which this band plays would be an ungrateful and unnecessary. Their early career includes songs which would start with a very melancholic tone that seamlessly built to such an enormous degree that the volume and power alone could blow your hair back and leave you stunned in your seat. It's a song than ends in a small, shimmering whisper about things to come, things that are, and things that will never be. While the band's previous recordings -- , , and -- have all, in some way, attempted to capture the trio's live show, where slow, winding patterns and riffs become a swirling churning blast of emotional cacophony for both musicians and listeners, takes a very different tack to achieve an end that is similar, but more focused.
The music here keeps all tempos reigned in and all instrumental flurries to a minimum, creating the feeling of waves lapping and pouring into and out of one another. We have 10 tracks—a bit more than 60 minutes. After subsequent listens, however, the atmosphere achieved is something incredibly remarkable. Upon first listen, this album will probably come across as nothing spectacular: an album that does not know what to do with itself as each song just seems to go nowhere and takes a while to do so. Every song on here features very slow and splashy jazz drumming accompanied with a subdued and earthy guitar as the violin seems to aimlessly meander through this ocean of loneliness and confusion with every splash of a cymbal or tension- and-release style chord change.
What sets Ocean Songs an extremely appropriate title apart from their other work is that it is a much more restrained album. When this atmosphere is brought to the table, the listener cannot help but picture being lost at sea and just floating along with every wave as they come. Here is a new kind of intensity for the D3, one built in unison and not in any kind of rock counterpoint. It is true; however, underneath this calm you can still see its origin, its true source. A dangerous calm is created by White's whispering snare, and deepened by Turner's generous open-tuned chords, plucked and gently strummed, as just hovers elegaically in the background, moving the band into a lulling, shimmering space where everything floats in open, empty, poetic, and lyric space.
It was truly something to behold. It seems like Dirty Three never fails expectations. Who knew he could bring out so much soul in a drummer who's using brushes? These guys truly know how to say more with music than they could possibly conceptualize with words. If you don't give it your full attention, you won't really get much out of it, and it will probably come across as a bit too repetitive. The title of each song is somehow related to water, seas, oceans, skies above them, or shores around them.
It's just that it does not get released through catharsis; instead, it merely goes quiet. White relies on his tom toms and a muted snare, almost leaving his cymbals out of the mix entirely until over halfway through the tune's nearly 11 minutes. Known for magnificently combining still waters with boiling whirlwinds of course metaphorically , Dirty Three seemed to have decided to slow down a little bit for this album, and transmute their bursting energy in seemingly calm instrumental flows. So, what do we have? After their previous release, Horse Stories, ran its course, this Australian trio decided to try something new with their follow up, Ocean Songs. Turner plays its straight, creating a chord structure that follows the dynamic changes in ' minimal style, from one melody to the next, with no more than 12 notes total.
It's as if the D3 were on a vessel, playing to the ocean itself. In the middle of the tune's five-minute span, one can see into the depths of the ocean itself, and hear it speak its secret truths while revealing its hidden, flowing body. Additionally, I think it's really interesting hearing an Albini-produced album that isn't heavy and punk-oriented. Or are they paying homage to the ocean?. Your comment: or to comment on this album. So as the hopeful Ends Of The Earth finishes, all of those feelings of loneliness and doubt that are portrayed throughout this album are resolved and washed away making this album perfectly comfortable with itself and a very rewarding one at that.
Such restraint is not an easy thing to do but they execute it to perfection. D3 move eventually from this gorgeous, mournful, and some what sad space into the heart of beauty itself, meditating on this new terrain, one which extends far beyond anything they conceived of exploring as a band on previous albums. Dirty Three are one of those bands who seem like they have some intrinsic qualities about them that make it impossible to fall back on overwrought clichés. Ocean Songs is a very unlikely classic that can be whatever you make it. You may have the same feeling if you sit by a lake at dusk; cicadas, whispering grasses, and splashing water would also shape out a melody.
However, this comes to no surprise when you look at the niche they have carved for themselves; a Post-Rock band consisting of one violinist, one guitarist and one drummer. The album is perfect for the end of November. There are hints in guitarist 's gorgeous cover painting, which shows a tranquil mermaid on one side, a near tidal wave over a red boat on the back sleeve, and both in deep blue against a light blue background, seemingly under the ocean. There's so much emotion in their playing. Let us know what you think of this album by adding a comment or assigning a rating below! Other songs on the album are no worse than these. A dynamic range is built upon slowly, with repeated phrases and rhythms masking the turbulence underneath, mirroring it even, and holding some degree of it in, where previously the dials would have been in the red.
This is not to say there isn't drama or tension -- far from it. Log in to vote +3 votes 3 helpful 0 unhelpful Showing latest 10 comments Please or if you want to be able to add a comment. The music is what makes it so. Just an absolutely beautiful album. Restless Waves, Distant Shores, and Black Tide are a 100% match for melancholic evenings spent in an old armchair, with a glass of wine, and an unfinished book. But if you really just sit down with it, man do you feel it.
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