Talkdemonic Beat Romantic

Talkdemonic play majestic, dynamic instrumental post-rock that is, yes, cathartic, but there are no crashing guitars to punctuate these sad little verses. Instead, Talkdemonic find release in more subtle ways: tinny, programmed beats giving way to an expressive organic drum kit, for instance. Beat Romantic, a 16-track, 36-minute sophomore effort from the Portland group, is a dreamy, cinematic record that can sound at once pastoral and futuristic. The instrumentation is staggeringly diverse — Kevin O’Connor is credited with playing drums, banjo, synths, piano, Rhodes, Wurlitzer, acoustic guitar, programming, bass, beats and concertina — but the songs bleed together, united by a stately beauty. The album’s runtime is incredibly slight for a post-rock outfit, with all but two tracks coming in well before the three-minute mark. But if that brevity occasionally comes at the cost of a track or two ending a little too soon, so be it — the lack of self-indulgent long-windedness is certainly refreshing. In fact, much about the record is: Beat Romantic showcases a band with melody, talent, craftsmanship and the restraint to put it all together properly. (Arena Rock)