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East of the Wall: Farmer's Almanac

Out of the ashes of the Postman Syndrome a new band was born in the shape of East of the Wall. Comprised initially of ex-Posters Brett Bamberger (bass) and Mike Somers (drums) they joined forces with Jeff Speidell (guitars) and a self titled EP was issued not long after. The band added second guitarist Matt Lupo (another Post Syndrome member) and began work on their first full length Farmer's Almanac. In 2007 Speidell would leave the band and be replaced with Biclops guitarist Kevin Conway.

It a bit of a drag at times for this reviewer to try and describe a certain band's sound especially when you have to use other bands as a comparison or a reference point (which is probably the main reason why I try to refrain from doing it whenever I can) ,but suffice to say that these New Jersey boys play a unique blend of math and post-rock which at times can be compared to both Dysrythmia and Canvas Solaris. There I did it ok? Actually I think the Dysrythmia influence might have had something to do with the fact that Colin Marston was the man responsible for getting this all down in the studio. Seriously though this eight song collection features an abundance of jaw dropping, intricate and at times rather heavy, dual guitar interplay that creates a crushing wall of sound, and yet they counteract this with some of the most absolutely beautiful and catchy sounding melodies you'll ever come across. "Winter Breath" is a perfect early example at just how well they balance the light and shade element within their music. "Century of Excellence" is another track which when it kicks into overdrive feels like a mastodon, not a bull, in a china shop and yet the track shifts back and forth with ease between its massive ultra-heavy approach and softer, melodic passages. In fact this is the basic modus operandi for the majority of Farmer's Almanac and one which works to near perfection. You're basically either being pummeled over the head and engulfed in a steady stream of relentless aggression, like for example on "Clowning Achievement", a song which is chock full of blazingly fast guitar solos, or they're luring you in with the mellow sounds of a hypnotic bass line and trumpet solo on "Unwanted Guest (I)". However, it's when they employ both methods within the same track that the best results are achieved.

Any way you decide on classifying Farmer's Almanac is fine with me because at the end of the day where it fits into the grand scheme of things is pretty much irrelevant anyway. The main thing is the music offered here offers the listener a kind of best of both worlds approach. With elegantly constructed, thought provoking compositions and exceptional performances by each musician leading the way. At the end of the day it's these elements (the most important ones) that should be the topic of discussion, because the music is basically either good or it's bad, regardless of charaterization. To put it simply Farmer's Almanac is hands down just good music, but it's really good music.

Track Listing
1) Meat Pendulum
2) Winter Breath
3) Century of Excellence
4) Switchblade Knife
5) Clowning Achievement
6) Unwanted Guest (I)
7) Unwanted Guest (II)
8) I am Crying Nonstop Hysterically

Added: January 11th 2009
Reviewer: Ryan Sparks
Score:
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
Hits: 2128
Language: english

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