Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Seims — Four
(Bird's Robe BRR151, 2021, CD / DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2022-12-17
Four provides further evidence that Seims is one of the best post-rock bands going. Working with a lineup that includes strings, brass, and harp, Simeon Bartholomew has produced ten tracks of impressive music, cinematic in scope and rich in detail. His compositions, though generally not lengthy (only one track exceeds six minutes), have epic impact and plenty of dramatic contrast. Bartholomew plays bass, guitar, piano, and synthesizers, and longstanding drummer Chris Allison is along to provide propulsive energy, whether it’s on slow, sparse sections or on fast, complex parts like the kick-ass 5/4 rhythms of “Showdown without a Victim.” The arrangements are filled out by Kat Hunter (vocals, violin solo), Susie Bishop (violin), Monique Mezzatesta (viola), Peter Hollo (cello), Thomas Botting (double bass), Paul Murchison (flugelhorn, trombone, trumpet), Paul Meo (trumpet), and Victor Valdes (harp), though not all instruments appear on all tracks. One of the things that sets Seims apart from other post-rock bands is the variety of tempos — while many in the genre favor plodding medium tempos, Seims ranges up to quick beats with touches of math-rock in the rhythms, even venturing into odd meters at times. Vocals are used only infrequently, but to great effect in the album’s closing track, “The Mountain’s Scream.” This music is seriously good, and deserves to be taken seriously. They performed the entire album live, and the video is available on Youtube, featuring slightly different personnel than the studio recording.
Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases
Related artist(s): Seims
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