Album Review: Reserve De Marche – The Last Twenty Years
Posted by Mark/Angel
There seems to be something about trios that swings the instrumental prowess in one of two extreme directions: either the three members are incredibly talented individuals (giving rise to technical and intricate rock/metal) or less proficient and more focused on simplistic yet anthemic music (such as in punk). Managing to synthesize aspects of both these camps, Russian prog-post-rock trio Reserve De Marche create a unique melting pot of keywords in their début that are bound to push all the right buttons for instrumental fans. If names such as Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Cult Of Luna, (a more energetic) Red Sparowes and Russian Circles call your attention, then read on about The Last Twenty Years.
Reserve De Marche make it clear from the off that they are capable of weaving simple post-rock melodies together, both on guitar and bass in a co-dependent method not unlike My Sleeping Karma (although sans stoner influence). “Calorie” is a reserved starting point, building its way up with Alekseyev and Bagdasarov trading guitar and bass lines respectively amidst tasteful drumming from Pomogayev, until crunch time adds an alt-rock flavor in. There is a haunting Cult Of Luna effect, although not reaching that level of heaviness, and the overall effect is engaging yet relaxing.
One of the major selling points of this album is deception: many of the melodies and drum patterns may seem simplistic, but the songwriting is carefully constructed to flow smoothly without sounding synthetic. From the foreboding yet funky heaviness and *shels-like reverb on “Le Garage”, to the Nuclear Summer-y post-esque melodies and surprisingly technical drum patterns of “Forest Of A Maniac”, these guys clearly know their craft well. The new tracks blend in well with the remastered demo tracks, so much so that I cannot tell them apart, and I give a hearty compliment to whoever produced these tracks; every instrument is a unique entity, but one never overshadows the others.
Irony is not lost on the band, as the song “Iron Flow” proves with its metallic, sludgy riffs and alarm bells ringing in the work environment, although the faux-Oriental-post-rock opening implies a different intended course of action. “Song For Hedgehog” feels remarkably like a Russian ‘kolybel’naya’ (lullaby) full of beautiful shoegaze and tremolo melodies, and is a pensive, captivating track. “Stephan’s Dream” does what it says on the tin, as off-kilter melodies loaded with effects swirl around as though in a dreamland, albeit possibly a hallucinogenic one. Finally, “Frozen Time” gives Pomogayev a rest while guitar and bass adopt a cinematic Explosions In The Sky-esque mood which eventually winds down like a graceful ballerina-jukebox out of energy.
To try to describe all the various keywords in each song may ruin something of the magic, so let the brief descriptions serve as tasters rather than full track descriptions. After multiple listens, I am still unable to find any concrete faults with this release, and it becomes crystal clear that 20 years of playing music has taught this band well, without the assumed staleness that many musicians get after such longevity. The Last Twenty Years breathes fresh life into a saturated genre, and runs Russian circles around many of its contemporaries (forgive the double-pun). A Top Ten candidate for anyone even mildly interested in what post-rock and its companions can offer.
Check out Reserve De Marche on Facebook, and stream their album below!
Label: MALS Records
Release date: May 20th 2012
Posted on September 24, 2012, in Album Reviews and tagged MALS, Post Metal, Post Rock, Progressive, Red Sparowes, Reserve De Marche, Russia, Russian Circles, Shoegaze, sludge, The Last Twenty Years. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.