It seems post-rock is doing a roaring trade at the moment – almost exclusively the reflective underbelly of all that is rock, always potentially at risk from the mainstream, but always self-aware so as never to expose it too much. An almost never-ending cycle that always births new talent, and in that regard, we come to Arbor Lights, a Birmingham quartet who recently released their first full-length album ‘Hatherton Lake‘. It’s their most ambitious release to date, with song lengths generally longer than their shorter releases. Sadly, I didn’t find this album to be particularly excellent – it seems to take time to really get going and with only five songs that doesn’t really allow for proceedings to begin modestly and without anything to really stand out. It does do well in places as it progresses, especially on the closing section to ‘Silhouettes’, which opens up at the end like the bluest sky to emerge from the blackest storm, and the centrepiece, ‘Damascus’, every bit as beautiful over its dozen minutes, and the closing ‘The Mayor and the Diver’, which possesses much more drive in contrast to much of ‘Hatherton Lake‘s delicacy.
I suppose despite some well crafted instrumentation the whole thing has got to be taking me somewhere in my head – something at this stage in which I’m not finding enough distraction in this band. Still, it’s not a wholly bad thing I don’t enjoy everything about this record – Arbor Lights are clearly a band with potential and I’d be foolhardy to suggest something completely stunning isn’t hidden away in their locker, which if they continue to work hard, their labours will surely come to fruition.
Buy/download ‘Hatherton Lake‘ here (name-your-price/limited CD)
Stream it below: