Laura - Yes Maybe No
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Yes Maybe No

Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Laura plays instrumental post rock music that has things in common with a great deal of bands, several of which find their home on the Temporary Residence label (I'm looking at you, Explosions In The Sky and Mono). Yes Maybe No is the fifth release from the group (including a live album) and it finds them stretching six songs out to almost a half hour in length and mixing some rather delicate moments with those of intense barrages.

Having probably listened to what is easily several hundred post rock releases over the course of the past five years or so, I have to admit finding myself at least slightly glazing over at times when I hear most things in the genre. To their benefit, Laura puts just enough of a wrinkle on their sound that they stick out enough from the crowd to be heard. Although they have what sounds like a fairly standard lineup (two guitars, bass, drums, and occasional strings), there's a sort of desert dry-ness in many of their passages that suits them well. It's the same sort of stretched-out horizon sound that Dirty Three pulls off so well with much of their work (and it's probably no coincidence that they hail from the same country).

Really, the crux of Yes Maybe No is three tracks, as the other three run two minutes or less and don't really flesh themselves out musically. Both "Bobik Is In America" and "Cardboard Cutout Robot Victim Hero Children" are a bit closer to the bands I referenced way back at the start, veering between bone-dry guitar melodies and frayed-out moments where the rhythm kicks in like a beast and things get ragged. The group is at their most successful on the fifteen minute closer "Another One For The Humans," as they mix vocals, strings, and synth into an almost chamber/prog opening section before dropping the hammer and going almost doom at times in the second half. Granted, it follows the well-worn structure of going from quiet to really loud over a long expanse, but the group wrings some goosebumps out of it all anyway. It might not blow minds, but it's a great introduction to the group in the United States.

rating: 6.510
Aaron Coleman 2008-08-07 21:17:10