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Jakob, Solace

Chris Walker



My love for the slow and low only coalesced from a matter of taste to full blown obsession as the result of one summer where laid up in my hometown after a serious accident and feeling pretty sorry for myself, I lay awake abusing prescription painkillers with a speaker in each ear cranking godawful sludge. Solace is an appropriate title for this album, because it’s the kind of music that heals and comforts. I have no doubt that a lot of pain has been worked out for the band in constructing towers of noise and lacking lyrics. You can bring your own feelings to the table. Much like the two-colour cover, interpretation is open. Are those just trees? Tendrils in a sea of red? Something else entirely?
There’s a certain prejudice against instrumental bands. Often given novelty status it can be hard for them to maintain the interest of a listener over the course of multiple albums without significant change, novelty piled upon novelty. Understandably I can see how another Jakob album might not excite some people. But three albums in eight years isn’t exactly overkill. This release
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sees Jakob utilising their studio more than ever before, their compositions becoming more layered and complex. ‘Pneumonic’ is built around a monstrously filthy bass tone before guitarist
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Jeff Boyle lets rip with the first of a number of utterly cosmic guitar freak-outs that pepper the album. The sequencing here is superb, the rockier material taking up the fore of the album, the second half being more expansive, ending on the epic and beautiful ‘Saint’. Jakob manages to keep your attention over 50 minutes of swelling soundscapes. While I’d still probably recommend their last full-length Cale:Drew to any Jakob newbies, this stands up to the best post-rock from overseas. While there may be some who find this release disappointing, or perhaps feel they don’t need another disc of instrumental bliss: They’re probably not listening to it loud enough.