[sic] Magazine

Lymbyc Systym – Shutter Release

The power of association is strong. I enjoyed the first two albums by Slow Six , so checked out their latest, Tomorrow Becomes You. I was disappointed, but found out that Christopher Tignor had been recording and touring with Lymbyc Systym, so decided to check them out too. And in doing so, I’ve found an absolute gem.

Jared and Michael Bell constructed the skeletons of these ten instrumentals by sending songs ideas back and forth when they were living in different US cities, then brought in Tignor on violin and several other players on guitars and brass. The result is a wonderfully rewarding series of pieces that at different points draw comparisons with Do Make Say Think , Run Return and Opsvik & Jennings , all of whom I love.

The most noticeable development from their decent debut, Love Your Abuser, is the drum sounds. Before they were scuzzy and buried; here, Michael is beautifully recorded in all his virtuosity, upfront in the mix and sounding amazing. Michael is also responsible for the myriad rhythmic details that flit around the mix, creating a sense of perpetual motion.

However, what really makes this album shine for me is the winning melodies. Each song is brimming with so many lovely passages and anthemic builds that it’s almost an embarrassment of riches compared to a lot of the crescendo-oriented post-rock out there. Lymbyc Systym know how to do a loud, fist-in-the-air peak – which they do brilliantly on ‘Bedroom Anthem’ (the clue’s in the title!), ‘Contemporary Art’ and the title track – but they never drag these moments of euphoria out for too long. And the moments of quiet reflection, such as ‘Kubrick’, ooze with atmosphere without becoming morose.

You know you’re listening to a really good album when your favourite track changes each time you listen. And I’ve been doing a lot of that lately – this is currently my staple album for the headphone commute to the office. Strongly recommended.