Review: Australasia – Sin4tr4

Australasia comes bearing that very sickly minor-key melancholy that the fierce distortion can only do so much to disguise; the sort that comes surging up with anthemic metal choruses and follows post-rock to its most sparse and contemplative comedowns. It’s difficult to embrace such melodic devices that have already seen their powers of emotion wrung by countless bands before – both in the aforementioned metal and post-rock sects – and while the arrangements on Sin4tr4 are undoubtedly neat for those thickly woven guitar blankets, this reviewer found themselves somewhat numb to their poignancy for the most part.

But some interesting ideas leap out of the darkness as the 22-minute EP enters its mid-section. One suspects that Australasia is the work of a solo project, and thus comes unbounded from the constraints that sometimes arise through group compromise. The album flits very effectively between soft guitar work and fierce riff-driven battering rams, and even finds its making some striking turns into electronica (even fronted by an appropriately syrupy female vocal) and Mogwai-style downtime. While Sin4tr4 may be devoid of production polish – arguably a point of charm rather than criticism – this has no hindrance on the grandeur and genre-hopping innovation within its intent.