Coldbones is a young 3-piece instrumental band from Kent/Brighton, United Kingdom. Signed to Dream Atlantic Records last summer, they have now released their first EP called ‘Distance’.
I understood what that title, ‘Distance’, means when I was on my weekly commute from Ghent to Antwerp last week during rush hour. Trains in Belgium are about as punctual as an Italian businessman and the train stations as crowded as your local retailer during Black Friday. Furthermore, the syndicate tends to go on a strike quite often nowadays, so we’re not always that sure whether we are actually going to get where we need to be. This makes the entire train-journey a rather stressful ordeal. When I got out that day on my transfer stop I had some time before my connecting train would arrive. When walking through the station towards the platform I needed to be, the stress struck me. People running to get their train, small aisles causing people to bump into each other, a constant check of my back pocket to feel whether my wallet was still where it needed to be, lots of noise and a heavy backpack.
RELEASE DATE: 06 October 2014 LABEL: Dream Atlantic Records
I escaped from the noise, the crowd and the stress the moment I decided to listen to ‘Distance’ once again. The harmonic melodies, soothing basslines and hypnotizing drumbeats immediately made me feel as if I was completely isolated from that all-in-a-day’s rush and hurry. Looking at it from a distance whilst still making my way through it. People still running and bumping, but I could not care less.
The opener, ‘The Hands Between Us’, captures that feeling the best. The song starts out gently with a harmonic melody, followed by a bass-driven drumbeat and clear bass. Coldbones is not all about gentle melody and easy-listening, though. At times, mostly unannounced, you are woken up for a reality-check, as is the case halfway through this song. The tempo increases and for a moment, the entire structure of the song changes. Only to return to its calming sound minutes after.
‘Maeve’ was released a few months ago as a single. It starts out with a pretty badass pulsating rhythm section and evolves into a more ambient-sounding shape. The band claims to be influenced by God Is An Astronaut, and this influence is somewhat noticeable here. Maeve has a nice buildup and explodes in a very powerful way, but I don’t really like how it goes back to its original shape after that explosion. To me, it seems unnecessary.
I consider ‘Space’ my personal favorite track of this EP. It’s the most mesmerizing song, starting with a delayed guitar melody and joined later by truly hypnotizing drums. The pace of the song varies often, with drums appearing and disappearing, tremolo fading in and out. Right in time, the sound changes and you’re welcomed to a relieving loudness.
‘Summit’ also starts off with a cool rhythm section (they must like that kind of stuff), but changes mood when the guitar kicks in. The repetitiveness, calmness and rather slow pace of the first large part of the track gets blown out in the final quarter of the song. Again, you’re woken up with only a short warning. The music as a whole gets more intense and sharp electronics start entering your ears. All very briefly, before returning to a gentle melody.
Do you know that feeling when you’re half asleep, starting to dream, and in your dream you take a fall so you wake up with a shock? That’s what happens when going from the outro of ‘Summit’ onto the intro of the final track, ‘Far from Living’. Distorted, pounding guitars and general loudness welcomes you to this track. After a few seconds, mood changes again and you can carry on dreaming. There are a few nice variations throughout this song, some surprising, others quite predictable yet welcome.
‘Distance’ is more than a decent first release. Coldbones captures some essential elements of post-rock. Both dreamy and intense, rhythmic and melodic. These guys also manage to maintain control and coherence throughout all these elements. They are not afraid to capture different moods in the same song, grasping the listener’s attention. It’s one of those albums that should be listened as a whole. Which is definitely not a waste of time.