Life’s an elevator: Israeli trio offer a sober look at all things somber and jovial.
“Dear, now I understand that me means nothing without you,” goes “Sun,” the closing track on this band’s debut album. Or is that a deer? Young buck on the old paper which is a cover for the record about sums up its overall drift: there are anger, ennui, desperation and wisdom mixed in equal measures – like they are in life. Yet that soft solar finale linking back to opener “Believe” sets hope in the heavy heart of it all, as the group launch into the emotional depth with a Middle Eastern guitar vignette and pounding drums courtesy, accordingly, of Shy Polka and Gal Petel who also employ roaring organ and sensual cymbals. Such a dynamic draws on a rich palette, and it doesn’t only hardens the music’s metal veneer, but puts forward the progressive vibrancy of the radio-friendly likes of “Insane Routine” whose sharp riffs can barely conceal its melodic appeal, especially during the FX-laden, vertiginous, if atmospheric, solo.
If this charge makes one harder to breathe, “Unbreathing” packs the sensation into a piano-splashed balladry only to gain pace and height, as Omri Shani’s puncturing bass keeps it tied to the ever-changing orbit, before “Same Sea” calls for unification while acknowledging everyone’s individualism on the bedrock of rhythmic spikes and curves. They are flattened in the gloomy tones of “You Are” – a sludgy but tremulous piece – and in the faux fatigue offered by “Overhead” which, conversely, thrives on separation and slightly distorted twang, whereas “Get Through You” rocks with much elegance and gusto, proposing a memorable chorus for singalong on an arena scale. Yet only a few cuts here can challenge the strum-and-sturm of “Stormy End” on the hit ground with its quiet rage that, resolving into the handclaps-helped groove, encapsulates the very gist of the album’s title. There’s balance in the tracks, and it’s a beautiful start.