Grails - Redlight (2004)


16 mars 2011, 18h58m


The second release by an artist always seems to give them trouble. Either the first release has been such a great success that its hard to top or the first release has been such a huge failure that it's hard rise from the abyss. Regardless of the success/failure of the first album, I can't straight away come up with brilliant second albums. Redlight, unfortunately, doesn't make an exception in this case.

Don't get me wrong, Redlight isn't a bad album, no, not at all. It just lacks the atmosphere of Burden Of Hope and the Middle-Eastern touch of the albums to come. It ends being a tweener in a prison of post-rock with well-executed but déjà entendu melodies. There are barely any longer tracks, the 7-minute Fevers being an odd one out, which are usually the greatest asset of any post-rock band, barring dynamic post-rock groups such as 65daysofstatic or God Is An Astronaut. The album doesn't reach a calm point, nor does it flow smoothly enough.
The first two tracks, Dargai and The Volunteer, sound pretty much the same. Starting out high and loud, fading into the mist of the middle and then bombarding your ears again. This is planned out better in the latter one where the parts near the end of the track actually sound fairly grasping. But to be honest, nearly every song on this album uses the same lay-out. Silent, loud, silent (loud). It entertains me to some extent but bores me after the extent has been reached.

Worksong is a light in shining through the dust. A short, melancholy track with the violin doing its wonders while your mind is working with images of people doing their labour on a cotton field. The violin helps the album through other songs as well but here it seems to give the album justice. With Reprieve we get the sleepy track of the album and while writing this review, it sounds really nice as I'm tired and I feel like going to bed with this song ringing in my ears. Except, the drum bashing and the musical explosion ruins it. God. Damn. It.

As a conclusion, don't start with this album if you're just getting to know Grails. You might end up disappointing yourself. If you're looking for single gems in the Grails archives, pick this album up and find what you're looking for!

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