Cape May Glass Mountain Roads

Channelling angst, sensitivity and artistic acumen into their latest record, Calgary’s the Cape May are sure-footed on Glass Mountain Roads. Songwriter Clinton St. John crafts involved narratives and unravels them patiently over instrumental backdrops that swoon and crash accordingly. Songs like "Spring Flight to the Land of Fire” are brooding, with intricate guitar textures reminiscent of Slint. On "Old and Early Numbers,” the band revel in moody tones, and while it’s somewhat lifeless and plodding with a breathy vocal, the song finally comes to life with an artsy, martial swell. "Copper Tied” is a good example of the band’s penchant for cold, dramatic art rock that puts them in the vague realm of Black Heart Procession or Raising the Fawn. The musicianship is sturdy and inventive but isn’t instantly gratifying. This isn’t a hindrance necessarily but it does cordon them off into a deep, dedicated listener’s room. Once in, however, it’s easy to get swept up by the remarkable interplay shared by the drums and guitar, which are bolstered by indiscernible ambient drones and tones. Then there is openness, exemplified by the tenderly romantic "Mari” and the moody but uplifting "Little and Hook.” Intriguing for its dynamic musical shifts, Glass Mountain Roads is a unique example of new post-rock. (Flemish Eye)