GATHIENS – Nesh (Murkhouse)
Gathiens is a collective of US musicians from the Ohio, Indiana and Michigan areas, and the music for this album was written between and 2005 and 2006, and recorded soon after. Originally just intended for family and friends, it has finally seen the light of day with an official release, and the timing is perfect, with the re-emergence of post-rock bands such as Explosions In The Sky, and the triumphal return of Mogwai last year. ‘Alto Above’ is the perfect track to open with, laying out the band’s objectives in a succinct six minute manifesto. Thrashing guitars and thundering drums alternate with quiet, reflective passages to produce a template for the post-rock genre. ‘Connectango’ is a more rhythmic piece, with repetitive guitar lines over a pounding rhythm section. ‘Inner Mission’ starts off with a slow-building guitar figure which eventually blossoms into a bluesy finale. ‘Telos’ is a drum-based track, with effects swooping in and out of the mix, while ‘Squall’ is, as the title suggests’ a feedback drenched trawl through the swamplands of ‘Deliverance’ country. ‘Hegira’ is a short stoner tune, high on guitar and drums, and leading neatly into the title track. ‘Nesh’ is eight and a half minutes of pure post-rock heaven, with the bass and guitar intro gently lulling you in before the drums crash in for the final few minutes of the track. It seems to me that post-rock is starting to become a forgotten genre, with fewer bands making this style of music these days, but even though strictly speaking this album is three years old it still sounds fresh today, and when done well, as this is, it is still a pleasure to hear.