Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sunday Morning Coffee:: Gregor Samsa

My first thought after listening to the new full length from the Virginia space rockers Gregor Samsa was "wow, that was a relaxed listen." While that might sound like an odd statement, if you embraced the band's previous work, you would know that 55:12 was full of soaring, epic climaxes and deep dark pitfalls. You felt the emotion when Nikki King asked, "How long 'til I fall in love?" Like so many of us, she was tired of being alone, of being hurt.

As you listen to Rest, you start to think she finally found that person. The songs aren't a result of the heat and passion of another new relationship. It isn't about the big fights and hot sex. No, these carnal intuitions have been replaced with a deeper appreciation for the smaller things. The way she smiles when she fills in a the final squares of her daily crossword or simply knowing his warm body would be laying beside you when you wake up. The band moves in smaller, more intertwined movements and the results are beautiful.

Nowhere is this relationship as touching as the 8-minute epic Jeroen Van Aken. The song is complexities as the now 12-person band explores any and every texture they come across, but it's the delicate vocals that Nikki King and Champ Bennett share that make the song. The song moves gracefully, but when you really take the time to listen, you notice the little swells of emotion. It's a lot more real than the soaring epics and heavy crashes that you come to expect from the genre.

People always say that great relationships are boring, but personally I think Gregor Samsa is proving that to be untrue. Rest is full of ambient restraint, but also full of beautiful sonic journeys. The band plays off each other perfectly and the notes fall into place effortlessly. Layers of guitar, reeds, strings, and synths (along with a surprising arsenal of instruments like vibraphones and celestes) float around your headphones and instead of waiting for the next catastrophe, you simply settle in and enjoy the warm fuzz that surrounds you.

It may not be as invigorating as waking up beside someone new, covered in sweat and wondering where it's all going to end up, but Rest shows you there is someone out there for you. It shows that you can be happy and comforted. You just have to let yourself be a part of it.

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Posted at 12:26 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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