Exposé Online banner

We Lost the Sea — Triumph & Disaster
(Bird's Robe BRR112, 2019, CD / 2LP / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2020-06-05

Triumph & Disaster Cover art

“We Lost the Sea” sounds like a pretty good name for a post-rock band, and We Lost the Sea is in fact a pretty good post-rock band. This group from Sydney, Australia was formed in 2007 to explore sounds beyond metal, informing their style with Sigur Rós style atmospherics and Mono style epic compositions. At times, they might remind a listener of Maudlin of the Well, though with fewer avant-garde tendencies. With Triumph and Disaster, their fourth studio album, they present seven tracks ranging from four to fifteen minutes, and from heavy epic sounds to gentler, more subtle moods. My favorite track is actually “Parting Ways,” which is the gentlest of the longer pieces in the set, twelve minutes of lovely playing that features an electric piano sound prominently and even changes meter a few times. For this one, the build to the climax is handled much more subtly than usual, delaying the near-inevitable heavy chords with tremolo-picked guitar lead until eight minutes in. I say “near-inevitable” because We Lost the Sea, like nearly every post-rock band on the planet, has the same strategy for building drama in their music, and it involves moderate tempos, stately chord progressions, and melodies (of a sort) played on tremolo-picked electric guitar. That being said, I do enjoy this album, though I can’t find very many qualities that set it apart from the other practitioners of the style. They know their thing, and they do it well. “The Last Sun” is another variation on the formula, starting with an aggressive dissonant guitar line right at the start, hitting what sounds like a climax in the first two minutes, then dropping down to one of the album’s quieter sections, with meditative piano chords and echoing guitar notes. From there, it is the slow (around eight minutes) ramp-up to the piece’s finale. The album finishes with “Mother’s Hymn,” a vocal tune featuring Louise Nutting’s beautiful vocals and a hymn-like arrangement including a trumpet and multiple backing voices.

Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): We Lost the Sea

More info

Latest news

Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

A Triggering Myth - Between Cages – A Triggering Myth continues to be Tim Drumheller and Rick Eddy. So says the liner notes of this, their third album. Hailing from Massachusetts, the duo also continues to make music much the same as...  (1996) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues