Red Sparowes – The Fear Is Excruciating, But Therein Lies the Answer

I’m not the greatest objective judge of post rock because to be honest, I love almost everything the genre has to offer and then upper echelon on bands always seem to release great albums. So it comes as no surprise that when I put on the new Red Sparowes album, I liked it.

I’m not a huge fan by any means but I have the first two albums and I like them very much put they aren’t albums I find myself listening to all the time and I don’t think The Fear Is Excruciating, But Therein Lies the Answer will be on either. That seems like an unfair statement but it’s good but there is nothing to distinguish it from any number of other post rock albums out.

The album starts a little weird for me. Truth Arise seems more like an idea then a song. At a 1:49 the songs builds and has the feeling that track 2, In Illusions of Order, is going to be an explosion… but it’s not. Truth Arise just ends and In Illusions of Order starts a new song. Which is how the album goes. Which is both good and bad. Each song is self contained. Each song has a beginning, middle, and end. They build, crescendo, and land. Which makes each song it’s own listening experience and the Red Sparowes have done that. It isn’t a concept album where the album works as one piece of music with many movements. Each song is it’s own piece of work. The longest song on the album is In Illusions of Order at 7:37, making this the shortest Red Sparowes record to date.

As a whole the album works beautifully. The songs are well crafted and interesting and there’s enough movement and ups and downs that each track is it’s own piece of music and it doesn’t get to a point where you feel like you’re listening to the same song over and over again. Having said that, there’s not a stand out track where you’re blown away and paying lots of attention. I find myself listening to The Fear is Excruciating as a background record. It’s on, I enjoy it and it’s a pleasant listen but I’m not finding myself stopping and really dissecting the album. It falls short of the great post rock albums from 09 that Mono, Russian Circles, Saxon Shore, and Gifts from Enola released. It’s good, but not great.

When As Each End Looms and Subsides, the albums closer, ends, I find myself shocked that the record is over already. I don’t know if that’s because the record’s shorter then previous efforts or if I really enjoy it more then it seems and I want more. Another good record from a good band.

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