AND SO I WATCH YOU FROM AFAR

The End­less Shim­mer­ing sArgEnt HousE Happy-go-lucky North­ern Irish rock­ers keep up form.

Prog - - Limelight - CC

Life just feels that bit bet­ter when And So I Watch You From Afar are in it. Over the years the Belfast in­stru­men­tal­ists have be­come mas­ters of jug­gling adroit tech­ni­cal­ity, se­ri­ous groove and po­tent party vibes, with their mu­sic both mag­nif­i­cently math yet mer­rily ma­jor-key. The End­less Shim­mer­ing is al­bum num­ber five – keep­ing up their re­lease-ev­erytwo-years hot streak – and it feels like a com­ing of age for the quar­tet, with each of the nine songs con­tribut­ing some­thing vi­tal, just like all great records. Take Ter­rors Of Plea­sure, which sees its riffs and gui­tar leads slither and wrig­gle, while thun­der­ing closer Chrysal­ism is a rous­ing rally through jagged mo­tifs that still, some­how, man­age to hook. And So I Watch You From Afar’s true al­lure is when they grab the lis­tener by the throat and launch them on a jour­ney, which isn’t eas­ily done when there are no vo­cals to guide the way. The mag­num opus here is the seven-and-a-half-minute whiteknuck­ler Dy­ing Gi­ants, which con­joins a crush­ing post-rock aura with a sense of im­pend­ing doom be­fore dis­solv­ing into a heart-tug­ging, string-laden outro fit for the grand­est of grand epics. Keep ’em com­ing, lads, keep ‘em com­ing.

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