Fluttery Records loves classic post-rock: ambient builds, dialogue breakdowns, thick crescendoes. Shy, Low (a play on “Shiloh”, the former capital of Israel) is its latest discovery. This Richmond band gets right into it with “Confirmation Bias” (that’s Alec Baldwin in “Malice”, declaring, “I am God”) and never slows down. Here we find the martial drums, the wailing guitars, the sense of inflated urgency that typically precedes a post-rock climax. As a debut, it’s easy to like: while it’s not particularly original, it’s certainly good enough to satisfy the typical post-rock fan, and at times is reminiscent of The Seven Mile Journey. Oddly enough, Bandcamp has tagged Shy, Low as “ambient downtempo indie”, which is certainly not the case. Sure, there are a few moments of quiet, but then BOOM! ~ back to the boulder.
The rollicking beats are often the highlight of the tracks, especially as they shift into higher gear, as they do in the final two minutes of “Light Feet”. This is one drummer who earns his Gatorade. “The Tide” should probably have been excised, as interludes featuring ocean samples are de rigueur; but the two longer tracks (“The Golden Hour” and “Farewell: A New Beginning”) make up for it. The former contains a build that occasionally slips into nothingness, allowing for dynamic contrast; a xylophone lends beauty to the end. This same instrument appears on the latter, bolstered by a bank of crushing guitars, leading the track to a satisfying finale. With this debut, the band has proven that it has the skills; the next challenge will be to stretch its wings. (Richard Allen)