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excavacations - object permanence (cd)




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ARTIST // excavacations
LABEL // weird forest (us)
CAT // weird079cd


  



I'm surprised more bands aren't jumping all over what Excavacations attempt on their Weird Forest debut (which is actually a collection of previously released material and a few new tracks). That is, the seamless blend of modern drone/ambient music and indie pop. There are vocals here that might sound very familiar to pop rock fans if they weren't embedded in blankets of lush, rhythmless swells of sound. And there are many instrumental passages that ambient music aficionados might call rote if they weren't rounded out by lively drum beats and big guitar hooks. That simple merging of forms looks easy in writing, but musicians are often hesitant to fully immerse themselves in such a fusion. Excavacations succeed because they take the conceit seriously. They rarely pull half measures or gimmicks, which in turn reveals that genres like drone and pop (and whatever else) have plenty of common ground if you're willing to look hard enough. - Keith Rankin for Experimedia

---- What to make of Excavacations? Are they a pop band? Perhaps, except they spend as much time zoning out and embedding weird sounds into extended soundscapes as delivering infectious payloads loaded with hooks. Are they drone? If so, this is the catchiest drone you'll ever hear. Are they rock? Maybe -- they rock hard at times but not often. Are they bad spellers? Probably (don't miss that extra 'ca' in the name). But if we live in a post-post-everything world, then Excavacations is simply music for the 21st century.

Object Permanence is one of the catchiest releases in the Weird Forest catalog but this isn't empty-calorie Diet Mountain Dew for the ears. The hooks will stand out initially but repeated listens reveal nuances embedded in the music and the care that went into creating these compositions. The boys aren't afraid of big hooks and choruses but they warp traditional song structures and abandon verse-chorus-verse. Indeed, Excavacations don't write songs as much as they craft delicate sonic vignettes, song miniatures that ebb and flow, often interweaving and bleeding into each other. Maximalists by nature, nearly every track incorporates overdubbed layers and unusual sonic elements into its core but somehow it all just works -- the songs never sound overcrowded or weird for the sake of it.

Object Permanence comprises of songs culled from a string of underground cassette releases on the venerable Stunned, Avant Archive and Paramita labels plus 4 new exclusive tracks but the album sounds like a cohesive statement. Partially re-recorded, mixed and mastered specifically for this release, these songs have never sounded better.