In an earlier stage I had the pleasure to review the latest full album from Poland's post rock band Newspaperflyhunting, called Wastelands (see review) from 2017 and the EP Time Lost (see review) from 2018. After an hiatus of 4 years, now it is the time for Time Regained to see the light of day.
The line up changed, guitar player and vocalist Jacek Bezubik is no longer member of Newspaperflyhunting. The remaining members are Michał Pawłowski on guitars and vocals, Gosia Sutuła-Grabowska on bass and vocals, Krzysztof Sarna on drums and last but not least Beata Grzegorczyk-Andrejczuk on keyboards.
I always like to take a look at the cover of the CD. I did that as on Wastelands as on Time Lost. My conclusion was that my thoughts about what I saw were a bit desolate. Maybe the guys of Newspaperflyhunting listened to what I wrote about the covers, because for Time Regained they took a picture of a dandelion with the sun shining through the seeds. I have to say that is nicely invented. The cover is made by Michael and Gosia. At the time I know how the band sounded earlier and I am curious what to hear on this album. The album is a bit short, only 35 minutes divided into five songs, where the shortest clocks four minutes and the longest track, the closing one, clocks twelve minutes. But I prefer a short album that fits well then a longer where something is missing. Only time will tell if this album is a shot in the rose.
Nice guitar parts opens the first one, No Hard Feelings. It is not heavy, just guitar oriented playing, supported by bass and drums. Sometimes you hear the grooving bass playing of Gosia, well done. A nice opener, just in the style of their earlier music.
After No Hard Feelings it is time for the second one, One Minute, the shortest song of the album. It starts with thundering guitar riffing with keyboard sounds that are spooky and also banging drums. This is what you call post rock. After a while it becomes less heavy with harmony vocals of Michal and Gosia. A phase in the song you can bang your head to, followed by a guitar solo that carries you. Variety trumps in this song. By far the most heavy one on the album.
Everything's Fine is the next one. This band has a patent on a special keyboard sound and in this song it grabs you by the throat. It gives you an indescribable feeling. It totally belongs to this band, and that is unique in its way. It is a bit ominous and that makes this song my personal favourite on the album. It takes the time to unroll all the secrets without telling you them. Can you still follow me? Halfway the heavier guitar parts and almost screaming Michal will make clear to you that you have to listen, followed by a distribution of key parts interspersed by the heavy guitar parts with slamming drums. This song is a nice one to listen to!
Hallways opens with that typical guitar sound of the band. The drums are played by some tassels. This is a slow song sung by Gosia with now and then nicely played guitar parts. You can dream away to this music. Earlier I stated that Gosia sometimes reminds me of the late Dolores O'Riordan of the Cranberries. In this song it is no other way, it really fits.
The last track is Another Island and starts symphonically with keys. Gradually the slow guitar parts move on and then a real slow guitar solo comes to you, played with a real soft touch, beautiful. The solo takes its time and slowly hammering drum parts are coming from far and beyond, they take the time as the guitar did. Then a new guitar line is set in, still the keyboard sounds are coming. A harmony vocal part is sung by Michal and Gosia, nicely done. Halfway the guitar parts are a bit heavier for a moment. Then keys indoctrinate your ears, you cannot let them go. It's a harbinger for a more heavy episode in the song, post rock how it is meant to be. Slowly your head bangs on with the music, good job. Another slow guitar solo is taking over with the singing of Michal. He has a bit of a dialect but that is okay. The last track is the most varied, but that is not totally fair because it is also the longest track, so the most time to vary.
If I compare the albums I reviewed earlier with this one there is nothing new under the sun. Am I disappointed with that? Surely not. If I want to hear some good post rock, I can listen to all of their albums and they all fit. But what I want to know from the band is: are you satisfied with a kind of repeating yourself? If you ask me, I want to develop. But who am I?
*** Michel Stolk (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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