Wait what’s this? Clapping to start a post-rock song?!” Immediately the Texas-based band EQUALS managed to catch my attention with their debut full-length album “Tracts”. Released earlier this year, “Tracts” has been on constant rotation by me for the past few months, and for good reason! This album brings something slightly different and fresh to the experimental/instrumental rock scene that has been lacking for some time; complex, textured and layered song writing that isn’t a complete mess, while also conveying tons of emotion without sounding soppy or insincere.
RELEASE DATE: 22 April 2014 LABEL: Independent
“Conveyor” starts things off with a hip-hop style clap intro and develops into a very optimistic, up-beat song with meandering guitar melodies and a driving drum beat, which is highly reminiscent of “And So I Watch You From Afar”. The song ends off with some tasty reverb-infused guitar licks which will surely make anyone want to speed up their cars on the freeway (I do not really recommend that anyone do this though) Second track “Slab Avalanche” changes the mood to something more ethereal and “other-worldly”, this is definitely a track to savour with a good pair of headphones in a dark, quite room. The use of backing vocal chants, synthesizers and reverb-infused guitar flourishes definitely makes this track a standout on this album. Third track “Glistener” is a groovy track with a fuzz-infused bass line moving the track along very nicely. “Telefoto” is a track of two faces; starting off with a guitar melody conveying pure melancholy, the track builds itself up to a very optimistic and beautiful sounding acoustic guitar piece ending the track on a positive note.
Track five, which has an awesome, trippy, colourful silhouette-style video accompanying it, is another standout of this album which contains very distinct sounding musical sections. The song starts off with a r&b-style bass line accompanying some trance-inducing guitar chords overlaid with blaring synths that sound very menacing. This is followed by an airy-sounding guitar riff section which is very funk-inspired, leading into a jazzy interlude of sorts. Finally the song meanders its way into the end section where guitar, bass, drums and synths come together for a triumphant ending; this is all pretty impressive considering the song clocks in at under 4 minutes!
I could go on to describe the last few tracks of this album in detail but it would be redundant at this point, “Rattle the Husks”, “Grand Paw”, “Sweat House” and “Reality Always Disappoints” are all wonderful tracks combining the melodic, jazzy, groovy elements that I have already described previously while also introducing folk and even electronica elements whilst continually showing off the technical prowess of all the musicians. If you are looking for something different, some true and sincere emotion conveyed in your music while also being able to rock out to musicians who definitely know how to play their instruments, then look no further than Equals’ latest and greatest.
WATCH: EQUALS – AUTOTELIC [OFFICIAL VIDEO]