Grails Burning Off Impurities

When you share a label with the likes of Explosions in the Sky, Tarentel and Mono, there’s obviously a like for heavy instrumental music and post-rock. Even though this is their first kick at the can for Temporary Residence, this is Grails’ third album. While this album touches upon various genres and ideas other bands have done before, the songs are theirs alone, as their interesting juxtapositions work more often than not. While they keep the trappings of post-rock, in that there are quiet/loud dynamics, Grails meld their songs with the slight world tinge of Indian and Middle Eastern melodies. It seems to be a repeating motif in all their songs and sometimes it sticks out a bit too much, like on "Silk Rd,” where the world instrumentation just doesn’t gel with the crushing guitars and hammering drums. But on opener "Soft Temple” and "Outer Banks,” it’s a refreshing change. With "Outer Banks,” Grails work in a more psychedelic vein and the wisps and hints of the strange instruments coalesce to bring a new vein of exploration. The melding and experimentation make this an interesting album but it’s not as essential as one would hope. (Temporary Residence)