And So I Watch You From Afar – The Endless Shimmering (Sargent House)

Genre – Instrumental rock

And So I Watch You From Afar are one of the finest exports to come out of North Ireland in recent years. The four piece have shared the stage with some of the biggest names in rock, cementing their reputation as one of the best live acts in the UK.

The talents of Rory Friers and co. are undeniable. Their chemistry, their creativity and their experimentation is unmatched, and they’ve pushed the genre of instrumental rock to new heights.

2015’s Heirs and 2013’s All Hail Bright Futures saw the band experiment with adding vocals. This was a subtle addition and added an extra dimension to And So I Watch You From Afar, but The Endless Shimmering sees the band return to their roots.

Previous albums have seen And So I Watch You From Afar try to capture the exhilaration of their live shows on record, but The Endless Shimmering takes a very different approach. It’s much slower, much more technical and sonically it’s much more experimental.

Tracks like A Slow Unfolding Of Wings, The Endless Shimmering and Chrysalism are filled with electric sounds, but lack the pounding drum patterns and the big hooks of previous albums. In truth, they’re quite difficult to listen to.

When And So I Watch You From Afar play live, you forget that they’re an instrumental band. You forget about the vocals and get caught up in the energy of the show, and simply let the music take you away. Unfortunately this release is very clear in its instrumental approach, and it’s likely the Belfast boys intended it to be that way – they’ve always been very clear in their direction.

From a listeners perspective, it makes for very heavy listening and is more likely to be strongly appreciated by fellow musicians than every day rockers.

RUSHONROCK RATED – 6/10 A slow unfolding of wings, indeed.


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