Pelican - "The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Thaw

I think I’m floating. Pelican’s The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Thaw, released on Hydra Head Records in 2005. I’ll begin by saying my pre-conceived mind was exhausted and easily distracted from a tiresome day at work; post-listening I feel more centered, energized and aware. This to me, is a sign of great post-rock.
The beginning track titled Last Day Of Winter opens with a light-hearted progression that doesn’t move far it’s original form. It slides along at a medium pace, with the standard post-rock sound we are used to hearing. Bands I immediately began comparing were Irepress, Mogwai and This Will Destroy You. This is probably the brightest section of the whole album, which I believe is a good method to begin a record. It symbolizes something; maybe innocence, or a fresh new morning. The drumming remains rather orthodox (I mean this in the humblest possible), with a primary focus on symbol and snare. Rarely do the toms become focused on and scarcely does the drummer creates anything extraordinary or unique. The rhythm is played by one guitarist with a medium drive tone, a clean bass tone fills out the groove and a lead guitar lays down harmonies thick with reverb and delay that are rather uplifting. It’s a great introductory piece of what comes next.
The second song titled Autumn Into Summer, is a 10 minute post-rock extravaganza filled with many different movements and sonic soundscapes. It begins with a fade in of a clean delay melody, which builds by itself to the first minute marker. Then come some delicate drum parts that remind me of the band Tides (or Mogwai’s quieter moments). The bass joins and the groove builds a strong body that only expands through listening. I realize that I’m in for a ride with this album and that this band has mastered the art of ‘build and release’ of tension within their music. The drums cut out, the guitars breathe and the track widens and brings in new elements. It’s nice to hear a group be less relentless with their sound. Constant tremolo and chugging riffs eventually will make my brain want to explode. Pelican does a great job with balancing their dynamics.
The album art and song titles are predominantly focused around nature and colors. This compliments the music style well and further pushes the idea of progression and change. While listening I found myself sitting peacefully spine upright, breathing naturally and enjoying the eroma of my last stick of incense. I was gazing out my window, which gave my eyes a beautiful visual to accompany the music. I watched a light snow land upon the branches of a tree right outside my window. It was fulfilling.
The album continues to groove along with the same themes and sounds as described. That being said, it’s a great collection of songs that all hold the same formula. Some cuts are a bit more intensive than others, some brighter, some quieter. There are some really heavy dark grooves here, as well as some light and uplifting harmonies. I’m looking forward to jumping into more material from Pelican. After enjoying this as much as I did, I feel remorseful on walking out during their set this past summer (opening for ISIS). Thankfully I can look forward to the future, where I will hopefully see them again. The Fire In Our Throats… by Pelican.

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