There seems to be an influx of female fronted psych/metal/prog/occult themed bands these days, no doubt thanks to the popularity of acts such as Blood Ceremony, The Devil's Blood, and Purson. Now, along comes Postures from Sweden, who are led by the charming Paulina Nyström, and also features guitarists Benjamin Watts & Viktor Andersson, bassist David Petersson, drummer Isak Bjorhag, and keyboard player Mikael Edebro (who has left the band since the recording of this CD). Listing influences from Pink Floyd, Can, Yes, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, The Gathering, Portishead, to even The Mars Volta, the music of Postures dips into the late '60s & early '70s, but with a modern touch. Paulina has an enchanting voice, and she soars over these atmospheric, at times heavy and psychedelic songs. "Heavy Tremor" is a delight of beefy riffs, trippy keyboards, angelic vocals, and brooding atmosphere, while the instrumental "Solipse" is part psychedelic prog and part stark post rock, complete with creepy keyboard sound effects and layers of guitar textures. Isis meets Hawkwind? Perhaps not too far from it. The enchanting "Clusters" draws you right in thanks to some scorching lead guitar work and Paulina's alluring vocals, and "Undertow" is like Grace Slick singing lead vocals on a midnight jam between Led Zeppelin and The Doors. Some swirling Hammond organ permeates the dreamy "Undertow", while the thunderous guitar/organ barrage of "Clouded Sight" might just be the heaviest tune here, but at barely over 2-minutes long it's all too brief. That brings us to the near 13-minute closer "Quakes", a booming epic of fuzz-toned guitar riffs, waves of Hammond, tricky rhythms, and ominous atmosphere. Sadly, Paulina is nowhere to be found on this space rock journey, as it would have been nice to hear her ethereal vocals at least in a few spots.
Pretty good stuff overall on this self-titled release from Postures. I can certainly see a lot of potential in them, though I don't think they are quite there yet. Musically they are very good, though their songwriting is a bit meandering in spots here, so some tightening up on the arrangements might help. Vocally Paulina brings the goods, and I think once the band figures out how to bring her more into play on some of their more adventurous and experimental pieces, the whole picture will the begin to fully develop. Good stuff though, and a band to watch very closely.
2) Heavy Tremor
3) Are We Still Breathing
5) Falling into Place
8) Clouded Sight