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Logh - A Sunset Panorama

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Artist: Logh

Album: A Sunset Panorama

Label: Hydra Head

Review date: Nov. 14, 2005

Post-hardcore is a crowded field and, like everything else, there’s too much of it. It takes an awful lot to get people to notice these days and, if you’re like most of the people writing for this website, it’s easy to be numbed by the avalanche of music out there. Sweden’s Logh might not be to everyone’s taste, but their sound is compelling. First, don’t think that because the band (Marco Hildén on drums, Mattias Friberg on vocals and guitar, Jens Hellgren on guitar and keyboards, Mathias Oldén on bass, Gustav Fagerström on keyboards and percussion, Mattias Jeppsson on guitar, and Jesper Gunge on percussion and glockenspiel) is now on Hydrahead that they must play heavy tectonic metal or fast n’ vicious grind. Rather, the sonically varied Logh gravitate to the sense of drama and expansive sound favored by labelmates Mare and Pelican.

The music is fixated upon melancholy, dynamism, and slowly developing events. The band uses an awful lot of acoustic guitar, subtle keyboard effects, drones, and introspective – almost confessional – vocals, to achieve a sound similar to Grails (albeit with a slightly different instrumental mix – violin out, glockenspiel in). But it’s impossible to listen to this album more than once without the impression that these guys owe their musical parentage primarily to Sonic Youth. It’s not simply that a lot of Logh’s tunes (not least “My Teacher’s Bed” or “Destinymanifesto”) have a kind of helix-like minimalism that conjures up the Youth’s insistent anti-mantras; but Friberg frequently sounds eerily like Thurston Moore, even though he’s also likely to shift into Elliott Smith mode on “The Big Sleep” and the hushed, piano-led “Ahabian.”

Though I found this occasionally annoying, what I found interesting was how they’ve taken SY’s lead in their approach to mood and, to a lesser degree, structure without leaning heavily on noise or feedback (both all but absent). Instead, on everything from brief instrumental flashes like the opening “String Theory” (with its sudden, isolated piano/percussion emphasis) to brooding churners like “Fell into the Well,” they keep you waiting with their explorations of tension. You feel as if you’re in a kind of suspended time as Friberg reflects on travel, chance encounters, and late-night self-doubt (on, for example, “A Sunset Knife-Fight”). The only time they turn it up to eleven is on the closing “An Alliance of Worlds.” Otherwise it’s all bell-like guitar accents and trance-like rhythms. Overall, this is a satisfying but not particularly memorable album. Logh are talented and worth watching, but I’ll be interested to see if they can really shake their influences.

By Jason Bivins

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