Album Reviews

AristeiA: You Give Me Strength, You Give Me Patience! [Album Review]

aristeia

Written by Justin Ray Ross.

AristeiA‘s first full length album, You Give Me Strength, You Give Me Patience!, blends the jam-session styling of Built to Spill with the post-rock sensibilities of Mogwai and Explosions In The Sky, which the majority of their sound is influenced by. Floating melodies intertwine with pounding rhythms to carry you on a journey across winter soundscapes.

The album opens with the retrospective mini-epic, “She Makes Me Want To Build A Time Machine,” which starts at a mid-tempo and builds into a lovely crescendo over a 6-minute expanse before floating back down to earth for a final send-off.

Largely an instrumental album, AristeiA relies on the power of its music to carry their message through, eschewing lyrics until the second track, “The Genies I’ve Known,” which employs the lyric “The snow is melting now/ and I’m seeing green”, sparking imagery of Spring and rejuvenation.

The most haunting track on the album, “Baby Cart Into Hades”, sprouts up in stark contradiction with the feeling of walking through a snow-covered forest at night, where the guitars sound like the rushing of an oncoming train before the beat kicks in at the two minute mark, creating a sensation disturbing in its determination before bursting into an ever-rising fury of hellfire. Though the song still invokes the sensation of renewal, it makes no effort to sugar-coat the lingering darkness surrounding the heart of the journey.

Finally, their last track, “A Kick That Could Wreck A Skyscraper,” sounds like the transmutation from man to monster. A reflective piece, it seems to relay the narrative of a person on the edge, leaping across a ravine and floating through the ether of uncertainty before landing on the other side as a 50 foot giant wreaking havoc on the unsuspecting metropolis. Whether or not it was a conscious effort to have the guitars sound like Godzilla gnashing his teeth, coupled with the sound of saucers and helicopters in the sky is probably a superfluous question, as the narrative quality of AristeiA’s music sparks a barrage of imagery open to interpretation, yet never disappoints at thought-provoking, holistic music.

This review was originally published August 14, 2006 on the old version of FensePost.

AristeiA: She Makes Me Want To Build A Time Machine [mp3]
[audio:100111-aristeia-she_makes_me_want_to_build_a_time_machine.mp3|titles=She Makes Me Want To Build A Time Machine|artists=AristeiA]

aristeia-you-give-me-strength-patience

[CD, 2006]

1. She Makes Me Want to Build a Time Machine
2. The Genies I’ve Known
3. Lullaby Number Three
4. Baby Cart Into Hades
5. Lullaby Number One
6. Why Don’t You Marry It?
7. Lullaby Number Five
8. A Kick That Could Wreck A Skyscraper

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