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Glasgow Coma Scale — Sirens
(Tonzonen TON109, 2021, CD / LP / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2022-08-03

Sirens Cover art

Sirens finds Glasgow Coma Scale in a different place than Enter Oblivion (2017). Not literally — they’re still based in Frankfurt — but between a change of drummers and the advent of a global pandemic, there are differences from those earlier days. Original members Piotr (guitars, keyboards, programming) and Marek (bass) Kowalski are joined by Lala Adamowicz on drums for six post-rock tracks that do all the usual post-rock stuff but bring something their own into the mix. In a very general sense, this instrumental rock follows genre norms, but the devil is in the details, and that’s where this group shines. Many of the guitar parts have a distinct similarity to how The Edge fit into classic U2 songs, with rhythmic patterns built up of echoing notes and open-sounding chords. This is contrasted with other guitars which provide more riff-based lines or power chords, sometimes three parts at a time, perhaps more. Keyboards are mostly in supporting roles, so it’s the guitars that carry the day, and while the playing is not overly flashy, it’s just what the arrangements need, going from atmospheric echoes to intense riffs and soaring melodies. The bass is solid as well, with occasional presence of chords to beef up the low end. When they all lock into a riff, as at the end of “Magik,” it’s quite a powerful sound. The set of six tracks is purely instrumental up until the final tune, “One Must Fall,” which brings in some wordless singing at the very end. Sirens is a great example of post-rock done right, and should prove to be a good listen even for those who aren’t fans of the genre.

Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases

Related artist(s): Glasgow Coma Scale

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