Well, this is quite the album. Quite the piece of art.
As regular readers will know, this is clearly a punk website. Yes, we cover all variations on the genre, and also try and squeeze in as much reggae and ska as we can; while also trying to get as much ‘alternative’ music covered, too. I would certainly say that experimental, technical, mashy-rock music with no vocals wouldn’t be my bread and butter…or this site’s, to be fair.
You know what, though? Having listened to The Endless Shimmering, I forgot that this area wasn’t my bread and butter. I forgot about needing vocals. Short, adrenaline-burst songs weren’t missed.
It might also be worth saying that I’m writing this review sat on a four-and-a-half hour train journey from Sunderland to London. The train is busy, and there are people looking quite intently at me as I fail to keep still with this record on my headphones. It’s quite simply impossible to not move, not to smile, and not to at times just stare into the middle distance in musical bliss with this record on.
The album’s title is a perfect description of it’s contents. I wouldn’t be able to tell you where one song starts and one ends, but sitting on this train it’s like I’ve got a little bubble, a little shimmering aura around me. It really does feel all-encompassing, and is entirely engrossing: this technical wall of incredible, soaring, beautiful music.
Some of the techniques used in The Endless Shimmering are quite simply astounding. I’m not a musician myself, but I am completely aware of some of the sheer skill and talent required to deliver such a complex and detailed array of riffs, notes, and sounds. It really is one of those sit-back-and-admire moments, which only further increased my enjoyment of this record.
It is worth noting that this certainly isn’t a record you’d put on while you’re getting ready for a night out, or one you’d put on at a party (necessarily). I was surprised at how personal a record I found it: I responded to it in one way, but I would not expect every listener would do. I also think it is a really tricky record to pigeonhole: it doesn’t happily fit into any musical genre, or indeed into any particular time of day or moment in life. Again, though, that’s absolutely not a bad thing: this isn’t a carbon copy of anything out there at the moment, and I love it for that.
As you can probably tell, I’m a really big fan of this album. I am fortunate enough to have seen ASIWYFA live, and I can consequently envision them playing these tracks on-stage, and the sheer enjoyment they would be displaying doing that. I would thoroughly recommend going to see them if you get the opportunity.
So. What a fine piece of art this record really is. I can’t sum up the sheer talent enough in words: you just need to give it a go.