Genre: Instrumental / Post-Rock
Release Date: January 29, 2013
Record Label: Independent
Wiry guitars, swirling up, winding screeches into a bassy rumble, ready to burst; these are the initial seconds of “Entering The Overlook,” opener to Sounds Of Jura, the debut instrumental record from Melbourne’s own Toby Wrecker. He, one half of Hotel Wrecking City Traders, a band he co-exists in with his brother Ben, is an artist of chilling poignancy, keenly aware of nearly aspect of his debut, or at least his is what the tidiness of Sounds Of Jura could have you believe. Even as it is steeped in a DIY aesthetic, one can tell pretty quickly that Wrecker had been working on these songs for some time now and Sounds Of Jura is less a debut and more a culmination of years of preparation and study. Wrecker is a quick guy, intelligent and direct – his debut displays these personality traits with a gilded finish, beaming through a seemingly dreary world Sounds Of Jura inhabits.
While “Entering The Overlook” may leave an initial impression of wanderlust through the eyes of Wrecker, Sounds Of Jura picks up tremendously by merely its second track. “Holding Water” is a prodding escapade via a slick riff and grinding mini-breakdown. The slippery guitar work that serves as the songs backbone is nearly snapped in two by a pummeling instrumental hook before seemingly being rebuilt to keep the tracks ebb-and-flow momentum constant. “Celeritas” starts as a coyly tender tune, before Wrecker up-heaves the tempo, turning the song to a driving anthem of riff-happy guitar-rock. While “Avoiding The Pleasantries” is a breakneck musical excursion, rife in flowing bass tones, raucous percussion and wailing guitars – it is a shot to the heart and routinely breathtaking, even for its relative simplicity in the grand-scheme of complicated time-signatures. It builds to a logical peak, exploding just as the track reaches a precipice. Whereas the excellent “Drown As You Go” adapts a nearly bi-polar aesthetic to “…Pleasantries” between its acoustic strums from multi-tracked guitars, calming Sounds of Jura as it reaches a close.
While not without flaws, overwrought closer “Cage Of Crows” in particular, Wrecker has found a fine balance between experimentation and succinctness, routinely straying from his song’s initial blueprints to exciting ends. “Under The Eye Of The Burning Glass” in particular showcases Toby’s excellent tone with his pacing. With a few picked guitar strings postured up against a low, rolling rumble the track begins, only to build to burst in an eruption of screaming guitars and cymbal crashes. The moment is jarring – most of this record follows suit, and Toby Wrecker places himself in fine company with this debut of his, accentuating his influences but never in cheap imitation. This is rock music, heart and soul, completely and totally, and for that alone we should be excited for anything else Wrecker may have to offer. But for now, thankfully we have Sounds Of Jura.
1. Entering The Overlook
2. Holding Water
5. Avoiding The Pleasantries
7. Under The Eye Of The Burning Glass
8. Drown As You Go
9. Cage Of Crows
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