9

It's post-rock but not as you know it

I Loved I Hated I Destroyed I Created is a slick album; crisp production captures every individual sound; natural echoes created by the mansion it was recorded in enhance the orchestration and the mixture of rough and clean vocals is perfectly measured. It's interesting; the first time I played this record it was like a slap in the face when those clean vocals powered in, they are just So clean, never a note out of place, they ring out like another instrument, powering over everything easily but never taking over completely. Opener In Misery is a great tune; starting with the gruff vocals, then soaring with progressive post-rock builds, but still, even though musically it has some fantastic moments I can't help but think 'boy band' when I hear those vocals and the snobby part of my brain kicks in to ruin it all.

Still, this record does have a lot to recommend it (despite my personal preferences threatening to get in the way); gorgeous layers sweep you away and bring shivers - the last minute of I Loved with everything coming together before dropping away to leave just the string sound is well judged and as it kicks in to In Fear you're guaranteed to get goosebumps.

The record as a whole does envelop you and draw you in and the rich textures create a dreamy atmosphere which you want to return to. I Hated is one of the most atmospheric tunes; simple and understated a slow and steady beat and gentle backing gently encase the scratchy screams of Dam Tomley before starting a slow build with some gently distortion on the guitar as Mike's lighter vocals take over right at the end, it's a cracking tune.

In Regret shows that the band isn't relying on those choir-boyish vocals to see them through, with strings and synth backing drums and guitar to showcase dramatic waves of texture in this instrumental track. As with the rest of the album though it feels very carefully measured, almost restrained, and despite the big sounds they create, the record never overwhelms you in the way that say*shels do, so you can end up feeling sometimes that it would be good to hear them let their hair down a bit.