Killington Fall - At The Soundless Dawn

Owain Paciuszko 08/01/2011

Rating: 3/5

Formerly We Stole Cairo, Killington Fall plough a post-rock furrow ably illustrated on the glorious opening track Empress which steam-rollers forward with James Simpson's drums rolling and rattling stupendously, whilst a flitty, jittery sample whistles and twitters amongst epic Explosions in the Sky-esque guitars and a simple piano line.

Elsewhere We Spoke In Flames is a lively affair, erratic and aggressive like a The Twilight Sad wig-out before it shifts into a sparser, crunchier affair; guitars barking in fits and starts with Mathy signatures, the track ends on a peculiar note, with nu-metal like hollering allied to their more atmospheric noodlings and it's a disappointingly tepid conclusion to a pretty decent soundscape. The sombre spacey opening to This City Is Covered In Water is both beautiful and eerie, with guitars echoing with tenderness and sadness, tugging on the emotions without descending into sentimentality or using hackneyed tricks but still hitting those hair-raising, post-rock flurries of sound with suitable aplomb. It trickles elegantly into a slinky number with Cameron Stewart and Mark Murray's guitar complimenting one another nicely, whilst Patrick Jordan's bass lends a much needed pulse to the track.

Soft-Point flirts with a pop-rock heartbeat, it's a lighter and more optimistic sounding track than others, with Stewart's vocal sneaking in adding a bittersweet edge. The track settles down before lurching into a mixture of these maudlin atmospherics peppered with shouty The Automatic-like vocals, that doesn't quite sell the grand finale of the song, instead diminshing its potential impact and rendering it somewhat cheesy. Likewise To A God Unknown veers into sophomore Electric Soft Parade territory with its combination of expansive rock clatter and melodic vocal lines, the various phrases of the track feeling more like a pleasant amble than a musical journey, coming in slightly disjointed fits and starts with a sleepy swagger.

Closing track Paths/Trails (Pt. V) continues the post-rock furrow with The Cure-like drums opening the track well, guitars stuttering and sweeping across the speakers, building gradually with pleasing tangents into groovy, descending melodies before being unleashed into the expected howls and squalls of big guitar licks and splashy drum explosions. This kind of epic post-rock is difficult to do well, because it can so easily fall into easy tricks, Killington Fall don't always escape these pitfalls, but they pepper their tracks with enough ideas to hold the interest even when they don't quite work. This is a decent little record for a band forging a new identity, it's a good start.