Go! Save the Hostages! ~ S/T

Go! Save the Hostages!Political change and societal instability have been hallmarks of Egyptian life over the last few years.  Yet even as the riots occur and the governments fall, bands continue to make music to share with the world.  Much of this music is political in nature, but to our delight, some of it is solid, appealing post-rock.  The music of Go! Save the Hostages! may be instrumental, but it makes a statement: that no matter what the external circumstances, there will always be people whose delight rests in composition and performance.  What is the act of creativity, if not an antidote to stagnancy?

The three tracks on this Egyptian duo’s debut EP deserve to be judged on their own merits.  To say that this EP is surprisingly good considering the national circumstances would be unfair to Amir Samman and Sherif Sami.  Instead, it’s surprisingly good in light of the fact that so much of today’s post-rock is unmemorable.  The melodies of two of these tracks are strong enough to stick in the head, which is a considerable achievement, enough to make one believe that this duo deserves a contract and the chance to record a full album.

The duo’s first single, “Salma”, is a 9 1/2 minute gift to classic post-rock fans.  The selection sets the stage with a series of sweet guitar lines, joined midway by soaring steel.  When four minutes remain, the track changes pace; one guitar continues to wail while the drums and bass shift, paving a path for a marvelous glockenspiel segment, made all the more effective through judicious stereo separation.  For a brief period the piece is enhanced by the timbre of strings, but no further crescendo arrives, a welcome change from the traditional.

The most recent track, “I’ve Wondered What It Would Have Been Like For Me If That Shark Got You”, demonstrates a love for the long post-rock title, but the track itself is restrained in length, topping out at just under seven minutes.  The near-western beginning, featuring an electronic whistle joined by light glitch, suggests an evolution for the duo.  When a wall of solid guitar wail enters, it seems that the track will topple like the walls of Jericho, but then the pair pulls back and allows for a give-and-take.  The track really gets going in the last minute as a near-obligatory vocal sample leads to a rapid uptick in tempo.  If the hostages are the music, this is the sound of jailbreak; and this may be illegal, but we like it.  (Richard Allen)

Available here

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