Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Deep Elm Review of 2010: Dorena - About Everything And More

Another excellent band from Deep Elm Records, Dorena play post-rock in the vein of Mogwai or Laura. About Everything And More may have been influenced by these greats of the genre, but never mimics them. To create this relative individuality, Dorena incorporate musical ideas that most other post-rock bands do not. For instance, "From The Window Of My Room" builds to a nearly indie-pop section, complete with catchy synth, about three minutes into the track. Soon, vocals enter the mix to great effect. Singing is used sparingly throughout the record, but never muddies the vibe Dorena aim to craft.

Following "From The Window Of My Room", "At Sea" commences with shimmery guitars and background effects, producing a sound reminiscent of a calm day at the beach. The track builds to a climactic finish, as though a torrential rainstorm has upset the ocean, waves crashing in a similar fashion to the guitars of the song. It's the standout moment of the album, demonstrating the stories Dorena tells with their instruments. Another of these "musical tales" is "We'll Never Meet This Young Again". The track lurches back and forth between playful and jovial sections to melancholic, almost nostalgic parts. It seems to reflect a senior remembering his childhood, the fun of that time, the lightheartedness of it all, before becoming conscious again of the cruel reality that those times are long gone, that those are just memories, that death is imminent. Perhaps that's just my take, but Dorena's ability to make you feel, really feel, the emotion driving their largely instrumental music is something often absent from the genre. Because of this, About Everything And More rises above the onslaught of decent post-rock releases. It's an album that's truly meaningful. And perhaps the true beauty is that it will mean something different to each and every person blessed enough to have Dorena's music grace their ears.

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