Review: Revglow – Sound Post Tension

By the time I reach third track “Phantom Theatre”, I’m aware of something mantra-like in Revglow’s sound – the totem-like rhythmic pulse beckons all other instruments into synchronous congregation, with the encircling guitars and synthesisers forming a hypnotic monotony in culmination. The vocals (female, gentle) stray and swoop like a kite tethered to the tonal centre, free to spiral into seemingly improvised passages, but always returning, reverb-drenched, to embed themselves between the throbs and clacks of the main hub. I see flashes of Bjork in her most Homogenic moods – there’s a likeness in the trip-hop beats, boisterous emotional outpour and occasional spell of sci-fi stargazing – as well as the haunted house of Portishead. There’s a hard strength to the forward drive of Sound Post Tension, but ultimately it feels like a vague mask for the gloom and frailty that hangs behind as a translucent silhouette.

Perhaps this gloom ties in with the sansaric quality of these pieces. Despite the fact that most of the tracks fall under the six-minute mark, there’s a sense that they could cycle indefinitely; each beat and melodic gesture gapes open in expectation of the next one, and once the pieces rise to their most momentous and vibrant, it becomes difficult to envisage an organic conclusion. For just a moment, I feel trapped in the infinite – replaying a solitary fragment of time over and over again, burrowing into every molecule of its meaning.