Post-rock has unfortunately become increasingly more difficult to keep interesting for listeners as much of it has morphed into a sort of slow rollercoaster. Slow-burning, 3 minute long delay/reverb drenched segments echo over a steady drum beat which subsequently climaxes and starts over again. While the bells and whistles utilized to create these soundscapes differ from band to band, the oversaturation of its core remains the genre’s detriment. The listener is forced to either experience the awe inspiring nature of these crescendos or scratch their heads wondering exactly where the “rock” is in this post-rock. This is of course a mere (truthful) generalization and even though many bands do indeed fall into this cliché, many others still remember that post-rock should have at least a bit of rock still in it. Our Lost Infantry are one such band, and while they do utilize some of the clichés of post-rock, their incorporation of actual progressive elements and a hint of pop make their full length, The New Art History, an easy recommendation.
Easily the best thing about The New Art History is that it’s an alternative album first. While the post-rock influence is clearly evident throughout the entirety of the record, it blooms from a beautiful British (yes this band is British) alt-rock core. Musically, The New Art History is tight, with punching ephemeral sounding drums and crisp guitar which ranges from U2/Angels and Airwaves licks, to more aggressive riffing many times in the same song. Nothing typifies this more than the album highlight “The Tremors”, which juxtaposes the subdued and quiet strumming of its verses with an original, brilliant, and bombastic chorus which molds together vocals, guitar, and drums in one effective mash-up that leaves you praising the idea’s powerful simplicity. While unfortunately nothing else in the record really comes close to matching the emotion captured in “The Tremors”, this is due more to the brilliance of that particular song rather than the failure of the rest of the record. The New Art History does a very good job making the lyrics, music, and vocal melodies sound cohesive. The album’s subtle moments are used adroitly and most importantly not as a crutch for lengthening song times with drawn out ambient passages. Lyrically, The New Art History can be best described as moody. There’s a tasteful sadness (if that makes sense) in the lyrics which won’t be causing any waterworks in its listeners but in conjunction with the equally-as-moody music, brings the melancholy in spades.
The New Art History is a very well executed post/alternative rock album. Its ideas are obviously well-crafted and executed and imagining this set live sets one’s heart aflutter. At a shade under 40 minutes, this album doesn’t overstay its welcome and provides ample catchy moments to retain those listeners of short attention spans. Other than “The Tremors”, nothing jaw dropping or too far out of the ordinary is presented but on the other hand, the album doesn’t miss a step in its executions or song writing. The artful mixture of alt-rock and post-rock make for a palatable combination of the progressive and the poppy in which fans of either style will have little trouble finding something to like.