SIGNAL HILL – More After We’re Gone (Signal Hill)

Signal Hill are a post-rock instrumental band, taking inspiration from groups such as Explosions In The Sky and Mogwai. Opening track ‘The Dead Vineyard’ is a representative example of their sound, starting slowly with some nicely picked guitar lines, and then gradually building up with the addition of the rest of the band until it reaches a crescendo, and then eases down the other side ending up with just the guitar repeating the opening motif. Atmospheric and engaging, this is a good opener to introduce the band. ‘Intelligentsiya’ is more tuneful, with a melody that you could hum along to if you really wanted to, before the whole band jump in with both feet and the track takes off in a maelstrom of noise. ‘Luna Park’ is a much gentler piece, with the guitar backed by vibes in amongst the bass and drums, and the result is a lovely, relaxing piece of music. ‘Men Before Them’ is one of their shorter tunes, enhanced by some found sound at the end, while ‘Floruit’ is helped along with some washes of synth and a delicately picked guitar line. ‘Men Before Us’ is a more rhythmic piece, with the repeated guitar lines played over some subtle bass and drums, before ‘Eternal Return’ goers all Eno on us with floating piano and guitar on a tune that is barely there. ‘Afternoon Lull’ is another gentle, relaxing piece, just as the title suggests, but this is just getting you ready for ‘A Secret Society’, where the first half of the song gently lulls you in before the guitars get beefed up for a thundering finale. ‘Our Sisters’ closes the album in fine style, slowly building up from solo guitar, then adding in some thundering drums, before quietening down and fading away into the distance. You don’t see many bands doing this sort of music these days, let alone ones that do it so well, and so while Mogwai are M.I.A. then Signal Hill will fill the gap for anyone who loves experimental instrumental rock.
The Dead Vineyard