The Austin Chronicle

Phases & Stages

Reviewed by Kevin Curtin, November 23, 2012, Music

The Calm Blue Sea

Arrivals & Departures (Modern Outsider Records)

For its sophomore effort, the Calm Blue Sea crafts mostly instrumental power lullabies that smoothly transition from lamb to lion in long, melancholic movements. Categorized as "post-rock," the local quartet uses the rock & roll toolbox of guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, and distortion to create music that ignores choruses, comfy chord progressions, and 4/4 time signatures to focus on timbre, theme, and composition. Arrivals & Departures might make good headphone listening for a flying dream, the moody, minor piano and guitar interplay slowly escalating into a tidal wave of countermelodies and exceptional drumming so densely atmospheric that it can help you dissociate from reality. While the range of music and emotion explored on Arrivals & Departures queues somewhat limited, within the parameters of its theme, this composition reaches some beautiful peaks.


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