"All the Fallen Embers" is the debut EP from this unique group. The album perfectly showcases the band’s overall playing style, composed of multiple influences, yet remaining true to old roots that generated an interest for playing Post-Rock music overall. Each track not only introduces the personal influence of each featured member, but also culminates an experience that the band wishes to share with each listener, no matter where that person is in the world.
To say "no track is the same" would be an understatement, as this EP blends the sourced sound through various layers, ultimately creating a new version set apart from the intent stemming from the original demos. This was achieved, in part, through the collaboration with other LA based musicians who lent their skill and distinct sounds to these songs. In addition to each member reigning from a previously established Los Angeles, post rock and instrumental outfits, this debut album is literally an all star institute not to be passed up.
Masterdog Sings The Browns
All The Fallen Embers is a quite lovely chunk of instrumental post-rock, and considering there's a fair amount of bog standardpost-rock out there it's good to finally happen upon something that at leastmanages to hold the attention for more than a few moments before some kindhypnotic stupor takes hold.
With members from various other bands (Signal Hill, The Half Mantis amongstthem) this coming together of a collective consciousness has resulted in arather charming and surprisingly gentle collection of tunes.
Opening track Vikings In The Attic sounds not unlike Oxford's The Rock Of Travolta (as indeed does Cliff Dwellings which appearslater on) in that the melody and the hook comes first rather than theinsistence that everything must be drenched in reverb and delay. That's not tosay that it's not wonderfully hazy and dreamy, it is, but not to such a degreeas too blur everything into a mush. City Speak is initially slightly more reserved and winsome, and explores a fewmathy corners here and there for good measure. Some tidy basslines drive thesong forward as the guitars swell and chime establishing a haunting narrativebefore opening out and adding a bit of muscle for the closing moments. The bandnever really opt for the all out sonic assault however, which takes somegetting used to. Just when a barrage of noise is expected to come kickingthrough, it never appears. Initially this feels like a bit of a let down, butArms Of Tripoli have other tricks up their sleeve, as evidenced on Sectioned ByBrooks where they segue between moods with great ingenuity, establishingtranquil moods and passages of extreme tension without the need for overbearingdistortion.
Finishing up with the ever changing moods of Cliff Dwellings (think Fugazi onthe Instrumental soundtrack) and Radio Silence (which flirts with dischord andtime in equal measure) All The Fallen Embers is a good solid body of work froma band on form.
My post rock diet lately has been a mixture of the dark and dirgey and the inspirationally uplifting "I just out smarted the Lannisters on the field of battle" type shit. I'm either cutting sketches of penises into my forearm in my four cornered room staring at candles or I'm allowing my comrades to lift me up triumphantly in the air as we celebrate with mead and whores.
So then Arms of Tripoli sent in their EP titled All The Fallen Embers...
Now I'm kind of in the middle of both bro bro.
Arms of Tripoli, forget them having a tattoo worthy logo, have managed to enter into my music listening habits as the only post rock band on my manpod to abstain from the distortion pedal and still sound balls as balls. There are stretches on the EP where you're daintily skipping along, while haunted by the soundtrack of course, but until the fucking shit hits the fan you're unaware of the tension building around you, and only when shit slows back down are you aware of where you just were. The entire EP is a lesson in extremes, as one second you're holding your arms out like a scarecrow stoned to the bejeezus and floating along like a hippie chick on a bowl of schwag, and next you're running from paramilitary assasins armed with blowguns and tazers, the dichotomy or juxtaposition, or whatever word you use that makes you feel smarter, is fonduborous bro.
Fonduborous is a word I just typed that doesn't have a red squiggly line under it, so I'm going to let that muthafucker ride bro bro.
All in all, Arms of Tripoli are the tame side of the post rock coin, but remember this coin is dependent on emotion, and these fuckers are that calm guy you know that all of a sudden loses it and calmly shoves a guy's foot up his own ass if given proper bait.
Allow the track Cliff Dwellings to be the track you start from, as the layered guitars tell you there's 17 guitar players, but the build into the gruff tells you they put out on the regular bro bro.
Sun in Scorpio Music
The band was forged under the premise that the most prolific and profound music is created when a strong spirit of collaboration is present. Thus, the band features an ever revolving line up of musicians and artists that accompany its primary members in all aspects of artistic development. It is at its core a creative outlet for everyone, exposing a new and unarchived musical experience for everyone to enjoy. A mellow, yet interesting and dynamic listen is what you will get on all the fallen embers. Arm of Tripoli's approach to music incorporates excellent songwriting and technical proficiency whilst creating memorable tracks.
Arms of Tripoli possess a certain relaxed charm in their approach. In many ways what they do is similar to other casual variants of Post-Rock: Tortoise in particular. Blends of jazz can be felt in the use of vibraphones, in the sometimes slow tempos they often employ. Here they may move a bit faster than Tortoise but the sense of each band member having a certain amount of breathing room is employed. In each song the band listens to each other, avoiding any overbearing size. Rather part of the intention is to have an organic, playful structure. Quieter moments fare better as they show this particular emphasis quite well.
‘Vikings in the Attic’ exemplify this approach. No buildups or crescendos are involved like many other Post-Rock bands. Here they get there when they get there. The time to reach little scenes of drama makes it thoroughly enjoyable. On ‘City Embers’ as Arms of Tripoli increase the tempos and volume it still possesses the same, laid-back vibe of the melody’s origin. ‘Sectioned by Brooks’ the song spends its time floating about, reminiscing of the more active earlier half. Finally there is the gem of the collection ‘Cliff Dwellings’ which is so easy, so casual it is infinitely easy to enjoy. The band sounds particularly comfortable here, sounding almost like recent Tortoise albums. It is the song’s end which is really stunning, possessing a gorgeous finale.
Overall this has a mellow vibe which works wonders. ‘all the fallen embers’ shows off the fruits of a band willing to maintain a specific focus on mood more than overwhelming the listener.
Sound Of Confusion
Comprising of members of various instrumental and experimental bands, Los Angeles collective Arms Of Tripoli are staying true to their roots by not compromising their sound for a chance at selling out. They have a core group of members, but also welcome input and collaborations from other like-minded musical souls. 'All The Fallen Embers' is the debut release under this current format and is post-rock with a difference. The difference being that it's not deliberately abstract, indulgent or obtuse, and that the songs, despite their seemingly niche style, will appeal beyond those already absorbed in the genre. You could call it a post-rock starter kit, but that implies that Arms Of Tripoli are somehow watered down or overly commercial, neither of which is true, they simply have great tunes.
The closest we get to the output normally associated with this genre is perhaps 'Walking Eyes', at six minutes long it allows a decent amount of soloing while sticking to the atmospherics, but it might not be the easiest route in for more pop-minded listeners. The fabulous 'Vikings In The Attic' or the melodic 'Cliff Dwellings' maintain their chosen sound with a more universal appeal. It could be 'Radio Silence' that's best of all, fitting in tempo changes, broken beats and a winding guitar line along with the usual post-rock dynamic. It shouldn't be an insult to say that these Californians have taken music that's generally an acquired taste and turned it into something more universally appealing, in fact it takes great skill to do so. If you've been put off by laborious, atmospheric guitarscapes in the past then give this a shot. It might go some way to converting you.
This has everything to do with the layering of the music. The guitar layers, which incidentally are mostly rhythmical, nocturnal and jazzy reminds me of Tortoise. That keeps the music nicely balanced and also brings the depth. Besides Tortoise you can hear influences of June Of 44 Don Caballero, Fugazi and Explosions In The Sky in their music. They build the tension or rather let you dream away on the rippling nice pieces. In addition, they envelop the mostly in the night and melancholic atmosphere. They shine as the driven thereby, glowing coals in the night. Very nice and promising!