Late Night Venture – Pioneers of Spaceflight (2012)

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3rd full length LP from Danish Post-Rock outfit Late Night Venture, Pioneers of Spaceflight.

This week has been crazy, really crazy. My body clock is all messed up, my stress levels have reached new heights and various courseworks have prevented my from listening to/reviewing music. I feel pretty drained so I’m not going to go into detail over these guys (sorry!), and I have a steadily forming backlog so I’ll make this brief. Advance warning, this is a fucking terrible review but I don’t have the mental capacity to care at the present time.

There are some genres which I really struggle to talk about; I’m not sure I quite made the point clear when I did my Caspian review (nor indeed my GY!BE) that Post-Rock is not a genre that I can write about easily. I often have to be in a specific mood for it as well. I’m not perfect, I have musical prejudices and the one genre that falls under my “Kinda Tiresome” listing is Post-Rock. Now, this isn’t a sleight on any of the bands that subscribe to this genre, especially not Late Night Venture, and I can tell you objectively that these guys are talented and have an innate musical understanding, but to my cynical ears I don’t really hear anything new or interesting.

This is the point where people start to pick apart my argument and say “well who exactly do they sound like?” and make me feel bad because I can’t point fingers or name names, all I retort with is a meagre “well it’s just this generic sound, you know?”. And it is; wailing feedback, eclectic guitar riff solos, prominent percussion and semi-predictable builds/”drops”. I can’t pin down exactly what it is, it’s just a nagging familiarity. This is obvious on the 2nd track “Peripherals”, which has such a quintessential Post-Rock sound throughout but especially in its closing moments as it rises up into an elaborate flourish. Vocals make an interesting appearance for the first time in “House” and I suppose it’s not unpleasant, especially as it helps neutralise the surprisingly emotionless instrumentation.

Well now, I have to talk about “Birmingham” given that’s where I live. Some nice xylophones work their way into the textural palette once more (since the opener) and after a terrifically slow build it eventually gets going and picks up some drive and determination and then goes…nowhere else really, it just sort of slips by before petering out. “Hours” takes a bit more of a Shoegaze stance, stripping back a lot of the textural information once the vocals kick in but clocking in at 8 minutes it starts to push the limits of my attention span for this music. I just find so much of it quite vapid; there’s a lot of skill and technique being put on show but I never really feel anything from the instrumentation alone, which does comprise a good fraction of the album. “Trust” manages to strike a good balance between them and the vocals though, it’s probably one of the better tracks. The penultimate “Glitterpony” chases it up with a somewhat more downtempo feel as well, it’s a good combo.

I don’t really know what to say; it’s about as far away from a terrible album as you can possibly get but for me it just doesnt push any buttons. I’m fully aware that this is a terrible review and I apologise.

 

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