Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Album Review - Gregor Samsa

Gregor Samsa – Rest
[Kora Records; 08/04/2008]

With their moniker deriving from Franz Kafka´s short story, The Metamorphosis, Gregor Samsa are yet another pleasant find amongst the ranks. Releasing their debut album, 55:12 in 2006, the seven-piece collective from Virginia continue to hunt for greener pastures with their dreamy sophomore, Rest.

Layered with elegant piano, spine-tingling vocals and an aloofness that could melt your heart, Gregor Samsa are a must listen. ‘The Adolescent’ is an opener that was made for headphones, with the striking vocal from Nikki King and haunting pianos setting the tone for what’s to come. ‘Abutting, Dismantling’ is also backed with desirable vocals along with a piano sequence that can only be described as darkly enchanting.

The epic emotional journey that is ‘Jeroen Van Akon’ is a gorgeous integrated vocal power-play between King and frontman Champ Bennett. The layered rhythm section that’s at the low end of the mix results in a rollercoaster of emotions for its eight minute and 22 second entirety.

If you take the bare bones of what Low have produced over the years and combine with the stage presence of what God Speed You! Black Emperor achieved during their tenure, then Gregor Samsa isn’t too far off being the bastard son. It’s hard to split Rest from its predecessor, but in terms of quality, nothing’s lost whatsoever. If anything, this time around things seem a little more opulent.

By Simon K

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