I don’t know about you, but when an album kicks off with a track called “I Was Sitting Quietly, Peeling Back My Skin” don’t you think something that offers such an awesome bit of nomenclature should fucking nail your balls to the wall? Sadly, the piece leading off the second album by this North Carolina-based trio starts off achingly slow and annoyingly minimalistic.
Coming from the world of post-doom, psych-sludge, alt-rock, Make has hung a sharp turn and appeared to have eased up on the bombast on The Golden Veil. The dynamic often lends to the sparse and delicate with co-vocalists (bassist Spencer Lee and guitarist Scott Endres) trading in a large part of their harsh bellowing for a smoky croon while the distortion stomp boxes in their pedal boards get to spend an inordinate amount of time with the red light extinguished.
When they do fire up the thunder, as in “Breathe,” it’s like Isis was transported back to the angled stage, ridiculously uneven floor and hardcore matinees of the original CBGBs. Those moments, however, are fewer and further between than fans of the band might expect as the decided direction here leans more towards a post-rock, basilar membrane massage of tracks like “The Immortal” and “We are Coiled” which are dripping with elegiac moods and appropriate amounts of reverb-y shimmer to tease your ears. In other spots, “The Absurdist” and “The Architect” straddle both extremes with a colossal swing from light to dark that seems all the more jarring and effective, accented furthermore by the deliberate coitus interruptus of the former song’s conclusion.
On the surface, it seems simplistic: after a few minutes of quiet, you spring into some crunchy loudness, throw on a few layers of noisy effects and there you have it. However, there is a certain amount of craftsmanship involved beyond that and Make certainly know how to play the dynamic card. The approach taken on this record may circle around the well of repetition and linearity a bit too much, but they embark upon that journey with an appreciable amount of slickness and quality sonics backing them up. An enveloping listen for those with time and patience in their stores.
01. I Was Sitting Quietly, Peeling Back My Skin
03. The Immortal
04. We are Coiled
05. The Absurdist
06. The Architect
07. In the Final Moments, Uncoiling
Run Time: 51:58
Release Date: July 17, 2015
Check out the album “The Golden Veil” here.