Time for some fun with some rather unconventional post-rock; today we’re looking at USA Out Of Vietnam and their new album Crashing Diseases and Incurable Airplanes. These guys mix in a combination of ferocious sludge metal into their music, along with the striking moments of fragility that you’d expect from a typical post-rock band.
This interesting mix has, at times, made me think of the most recent Deaf Heaven album, Sunbather; both are incredibly loud, eclectic and wondrous in their approach to the vast amount of sounds and tunes that they produce.
But enough comparing, let’s get into the nitty gritty.
I love the sound that these guys have gone for on this album. The heavy guitars that you’d expect to see in much heavier bands make an appearance, the bass is monstrous and there are plenty of little touches that give this album a unique sound. I mean, 15 guest musicians appeared on this album and it shows.
From the get go, this album is uncompromising with its massively long songs that just plod along at their own speed and it’s approach to a much more experimental side of post-rock. These songs don’t build around over-used crescendos, but rather they burn slowly from one movement to another. Everything feels organic and moves fluidly.
The only real problem I had with the fluidity of this release is when the spoken word sample comes in during You Are A Comet, You Are On Fire, it honestly feels like it was just pasted in there. That being said, the sample is extremely fitting and uplifting, it just could have been introduced slightly better.
In the stream of uplifting, the general mood on tracks like Archangel, You Are A Comet, You Are On Fire and Leg Of Lamb is just so majestic and awe-inspiring. Even with the growls of the guitar that march along at the beginning of the songs build to these incredibly beautiful moments. I think this is mostly thanks to the use of choral loops, echoed vocals and some rather shiny brass sections going on.
There are moments where I’d like the vocals on this album to take the reins. Like the point at around the start of Asphodel 1322, they’re mumbled and intimate and that’s great, but I’d love to see the vocals brought to the front of house more, but that’s just taste.
This album has a lot to offer in sound; rich instrumentation, drawn-out songs that don’t feel as if they’re pointlessly wandering and a glorious sounding promise of things to come.
I think Crashing Diseases and Incurable Airplanes will put USA Out Of Vietnam on the map in terms of bands to watch this year and beyond.