Mescaliner – Willow Spree

Mescaliner are a Dutch band who are reclusive and not much is known about them. I assume they named themselves after mescaline but I guess we may never know. These guys play a form of post-rock where the rhythm section is generally important and they are not afraid to rock out when the music calls for it. Their live shows are supposed to be full of improvisation, where they get compared to both early Pink Floyd and LTIA-era King Crimson. Enough about labels and comparisons, these guys just make great modern instrumental rock music.

Let’s begin with “Never Look Back” which opens atmospheric with some great crosspicking/arpeggios on guitar. Cymbals lead to distorted bass and then the band centres around the horror-movie like guitar line. The guitar playing here is good and sometimes reminds me of Muse. About halfway the music switches to some great jazz-rock with a laid-back rhythm. The beginning of “Lost And Found” reminds me of the Toronto group Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet (who did the music for the show Kids In The Hall)…except for the distorted lead guitar. That guitar leads the song into some alternative/indie influenced post-rock. Busy bass playing brings the band to a faster tempo. Becomes more laid-back towards the end with some cool delayed guitar effects.

“Sonapur” opens on a very alternative rock vibe, almost sounds like Soundgarden. Then it changes to a slower paced section with some fast guitar strumming. Some muffled talking on something can be heard. The song eventually gets more typical post-rock sounding as it increases in volume and tempo. More great delayed guitar effects at the end. “Staring In The Sun” starts with a slow drumbeat then melancholy guitar and bass join it. Stays in that territory until over halfway when guitar arpeggios and some nifty cymbal work end the song. The title track begins with a woman counting out numbers over a radio or something. I love the guitar playing here, it sounds so much like a lot of 1980′s heavy metal guitarists. Almost sounds like Iron Maiden but not quite. Nice drumming with some military snare rolls. This song changes quite a bit and doesn’t stay in one place for too long.

Great fast strummed clean guitar at one point. Halfway gets a little jazzy with a great scorching guitar solo. Then it mellows out for awhile sounding like ’80s Metallica at their most melodic and subdued, with some snare rim hitting to boot. Some spacey sounds and you hear the woman counting again. The music gets laid-back and medium paced with some bluesy guitar playing. “Skyscraper” is in a typical mid-paced post-rock vein for awhile. Then it gets faster and eventually the band plays in an odd metered time signature. Later the band calms down and we get more delayed guitar effects. After that it goes into a steady 4/4 beat with some guitars that sound like math rock at it’s most melodic and accessible.

The music stops after 8 minutes. Then it returns after a minute of silence with some nice laid-back jazzy rock. This album is great modern and current post-rock. I have heard their first album but I can’t remember which album I liked more; I might have to revisit that debut album again. Both albums are available on the Bandcamp page for Mescaliner if you happen to be interested. Not only is this not the greatest thing since sliced bread, it’s not even as good as sliced bread. But it’s still a great album.

Tracklist:

1. Never Look Back (7:42)
2. Lost And Found (5:14)
3. Untitled (2:05)
4. Sonapur (5:08)
5. Staring In The Sun (4:11)
6. Willow Spree (6:52)
7. Heritage (2:55)
8. Skyscraper (11:14)

Lineup:

* Rob – drums, samples
* Lowie – bass
* Jens – guitar
* Bastiaan –  guitar

Links:

http://mescaliner.bandcamp.com/

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