Worriedaboutsatan are back and, well, i suppose that they are still worried. But apparently there are less of them to be worried. When last i reviewed this act, they were a duo. But i suppose that Satan was just too much for Thomas Ragsdale, and now this act is the solo work of Gavin Miller. No matter -- Mr. Miller is more than up to continuing the anti-Satan crusade on his own...
The music has not changed much, despite the loss of half the band. This album is about 45 minutes worth of mellow effected guitar, sequenced beats, and synths. It echoes and ebbs and flows in a way that reminds me of Yellow6, Portal, Port-Royal, Lights Out Asia, or perhaps even Hammock. I guess there is a fair amount of this kind of music around these days, and i think that Crystalline by Worriedaboutsatan is a fine example of the genre.
Rain starts off the record but is slowly cut up and sequenced to use as a percussion layer as guitar drones in. This song is called Open the Door and also features some nice wordless vocals.
On Step Inside Miller seems to have two guitar layers, one that chimes like Robin Guthrie's solo work and other that rings more than chimes. To these Miller adds some nice chugging beats. Very lovely.
Cali is layers of slow guitar and ponderous, almost Low-like, drums. Mirrors features some great wordless singing from Sophie Green of Her Name Is Calla. It builds to a loud peak in the middle with some keyboardy trills, the voice, and clanging percussion. Very nice.
The title track has a clicked beat alongside one layer of droning guitar and a simple picked bit and that wordless singing. Streetlights On Empty Roads has more echo in the guitar and the percussion kind of clangs more.
Secretly grows a little more slowly than some of the other tunes here, bass wobbling faintly, cymbals tinking, and guitars in layers fading in and out. This is one of the prettier examples of what Miller is doing here.
And then finally the record ends with Switching Off, the voice and the guitars in slow layers that disintegrate as the song progresses. A nice end to the record.
So: Crystalline is a pretty good post-rock kind of record. People who like this kind of stuff will find it enjoyable.
However, i think that people who criticize this genre for all of the songs sounding similar, well, the sameness of the songs on Crystalline will give them more ammunition for their arguments.