Aussie col­lec­tive blow hot and cold on sec­ond LP.

Prog - - The Musical Box - CC

Ex­tra prog brownie points must go to AlithiA for in­tro­duc­ing their new al­bum with a dreamy 10-minute long-haul, which takes the lis­tener through post-rock sound­scapes and suc­cu­lent har­monies. Per­haps the Aus­tralian sex­tet’s most re­deem­ing trait is their knack for do­ing these hyp­notic me­an­der­ings just as con­vinc­ingly as the more mod­est four­min­uters, and it’s ev­i­dent to im­pres­sive ef­fect on this, their sec­ond al­bum. For every psych space-out like opener The Sun, there’s a The Knife, a trim­mer ditty that ends up more Deftones in scope. But with their chameleon-like na­ture, there’s a feel­ing AlithiA aren’t so sure of their own iden­tity. The shapeshift­ing Em­press sounds con­fused, jug­gling elec­tron­ica and edgy rock like two hot po­ta­toes, while the near nine-minute Breathe fails to war­rant the repeat but­ton. By the time closer Faces In The Leaves emerges with its ab­sorb­ing, hazy vo­cals and stir­ring at­mo­spher­ics, you’re left won­der­ing what the take­away mes­sage is. Mod­ern-day prog fun, at­mo­spheric, syn­thy ru­mi­na­tions or left-lean­ing alt-rock? AlithiA are to be ap­plauded for fur­row­ing their own path, but there’s a dan­ger of things slip­ping through their grasp.

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