Sometimes a collaboration is more than just a collaboration, it’s a statement. And even though this blended band doesn’t make its statement explicit, the friendship between France’s Anathème and the U.K.’s Stems underlines the thought that Brexit is a very bad idea. Just listen to these seven musicians having an amazing time! No borders, tariffs or other restrictions. Shouldn’t we be encouraging this sort of thing?
A recent theory holds that the world’s biggest political issue is not between nations, but between globalism and isolationism. TorqueMadra stands in the global column. Separately, each band is distinctively different from The Chapel of Exquises Ardents Pears. Anathème falls on the louder end of post-rock, Stems on the quieter. Anathème sounds more like EitS, Stems more like Rachel’s. Stems brings the strings, Anathème the crescendos. Together, they create something more than the sum of its parts: energetic yet contemplative, reasoned yet raucous. Why would anyone build a wall between them (okay, that’s America, but you get the point) or make it more difficult for them to see one another ~ like the parents of Romeo and Juliet?
Since this is an EP, this experience is short but sweet. “Decameron” is the most succinct summary of the blended band’s abilities, beginning softly and sweetly before taking it up a notch, sounding a bit like 3epkano after the first minute. But wait, there’s more! Just when one thinks the peak volume has been reached, it rises once more, the bass laying down the path for the other instruments to trod. The segment from 2:42 to 3:58 is an expansion ~ okay, let’s say explosion, it’s not a copyrighted word ~ of volume and timbre. There’s even a hint of metal before the cushioned end.
Now let’s set our ears on that last track. At 8:36, “Il Principe” is twice the length of its companions. The track delivers exactly what one might expect from a track this length (a quiet start, some peaks and valleys, a crashing end), but also what post-rock fans want. Now we’re starting to think of other bands who might benefit from collaboration, especially if each is missing a cellist or drummer. Don’t let it end here, and don’t let Brexit get you down! (Richard Allen)