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Vessels - White Fields and Open Devices

  by Maarten Schiethart

published: 27 / 7 / 2008

Vessels - White Fields and Open Devices
Label: Cuckundoo Records
Format: CD


Potentially excellent instrumental post rock on debut album by Leeds-based group Vessels, occasionally marred by pointless and mumbled vocals

The pulsating streams of square math rock at the very start of 'White Fields and Open Devices' put me in a mood to think of words to go with 'Altered Beast', the blasting opening track. These first seven minutes are all about chasing, turning and overpowering. Yet next, when mumbling singer Tom Evans joins in and on the second track, 'A Hundred Times in Every Direction', the momentum gets lost a little. Bang on time, bang all the way in fact, Vessels pick up the thread in 'An Idle Brain and the Devil's Workshop' when, with ferocious venom, they perform genuine torture on snares. Again though more words come to spoil the instrumental ecstasy. Vessels aren't a band good at songs and the tracks with vocals seem to serve the purpose of a moment of rest. This a Vessels trademark, however. Vessels put much restraint on themselves and only really blast off when Evans shuts up on the better half of the tracks. 'Look At That Cloud!', for example, is of the mightiest thunder in its sound. This Chris Martin on a Mogwai trip trick reaches utter pointlessness on 'Yuki'. When vocals go recorded via a vocoder, Vessels stay truer to the cause than with the languish and inertia of those mumbled lyrics. For the most, Vessels deliver topnotch instrumental post-rock. Largely unoriginal but enjoyable. The final track, 'Wave Those Arms, Airmen', is pretty grand. Work your way through 'White Fields and Open Devices' and find some rewards in store.

Track Listing:-
1 Altered Beast
2 A Hundred Times in Every Direction
3 Happy Accident
4 An Idle Brain and the Devil's Workshop
5 Walking Through Walls
6 Trois Heures
7 Look at that Cloud!
8 Yuki
9 Two Words and a Gesture
10 Wave Those Arms, Airmen

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live reviews

Rock City, Nottingham, 5/2/2010
Vessels - Rock City, Nottingham, 5/2/2010
Guest reviewer Freddie Taylor-Shearer is impressed by instrumental post rockers Vessels' passion and technical brilliance at a show supporting Oceansize at a gig at Nottingham Rock City

digital downloads


Helioscope (2011)
Demanding and ultimately irksome largely instrumental electro rock on second album from Leeds-based band, Vessels
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