|MH-267 Lymbyc Systym - Shutter Release
With a touring schedule that keeps them on the road seemingly more than it gives them time at home, Lymbyc Systym have miraculously completed their second full-length album, entitled Shutter Release. Magnifying the already giant sounds of Love Your Abuser was not an easy task, but with Jeff Zeigler behind the boards recording the album and John Congleton (Modest Mouse, Explosions In The Sky) shaping the mixdowns, they’ve managed to do just that. Instrumentation has become broader, arrangements more grandiose, and melodies more focused, resulting in a sublime second album. While the stacked keys and busy drums that defined their previous outing still create the foundation of much of Shutter Release, the Brothers Bell have added acoustic and electric guitars, majestic brass and disembodied vocals to their arsenal. On Shutter Release, Lymbyc Systym prove there are few better than them at reviving memories with sound.
|Haunting post-rock instrumentals seep into your soul - AP / Draws you in and makes its world the only one there is - Houston Press / Lymbyc Systym emerge clean, pure, triumphant. Rejoice, a noble birth - Strangeglue / It's beautiful, it's moving - East Bay Express|
|Two years ago I discovered the duo of brothers Jared and Michael Bell, known as Lymbyc Systym, as an opening act for The Album Leaf. Impressed with the rich sound created by only two people, I purchased their stellar debut EP Carved By Glaciers, and anxiously awaited the release of their first full-length record. Love Your Abuser came out later in 2007 and continued to impress, but since that day, the band has toured almost non-stop.|
Considering their rigorous touring schedule, it was surprising when the announcement that the duo would be releasing their second full-length album was made only five weeks before its November 3rd street date.
Shutter Release is the next logical step in the brothers' sound. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it improves upon everything that made Love Your Abuser a solid debut. It's bigger, fuller, louder, and more dramatic, but retains the essence of their earlier works, from the beautiful melodies to the booming drums.
To fully experience Shutter Release, I'd recommend a great pair of headphones. It sounds good on larger systems, but the intricacies of the CD shine through in headphones. Listening to the album's opening track, "Trichromatic", is an almost entirely different experience as spacey effects and instruments are separated between the channels.
Shutter Release is equal parts post rock and ambient, but unlike their first record where the ambient works were often the low points, some of this record's quietest tunes are its best. "Bedroom Anthem" is a clear standout, even though it clocks in at little over two and a half minutes. The soft track gives way to a marvelous crescendo in its final minute filled with horns, banjo, and Michael Bell's thundering drums.
"Kubrick", on the other hand, keeps things a bit more mellow. Though it gets louder near the end, it never leaves the realm of spacey and somber ambiance, making it another one of those tracks perfectly suited for relaxing with your headphones in a dark room.
Many of the songs shift gears around the halfway point, which almost makes it feel as though there are twice as many tracks on the record. The album's first single and second track, "Ghost Clock", is the best example, ramping up the tempo with guitars, an irresistable keyboard hook and hand clap pattern. It's easily one of the best songs in the band's entire catalog thus far, but tracks like "Contemporary Art" and the title track follow a similar formula with similar success.
The greatest achievement of the record is that there are no slow spots. As much as I enjoyed Love Your Abuser, there were several tracks that broke up the experience. Shutter Release flows much better overall. There were no songs I felt like I had to listen to just to get on to the next one the first time through, or songs I would never return to in the future, but rather were all songs that stood on their own as well as fit into a larger body of work.
The production has noticeably improved as well, which lends to the evolution of the band's sound. As I said, they aren't reinventing themselves, but the extra production tricks and increased focus on subtle tweaks and background effects gives the whole record a much fuller sound. It's a journey of discovery, as each new listen will likely yield some new effect or sound you hadn't noticed before, and it seems to take on a whole new life when played on a large stereo.
However they managed to find the time to record it, I may never know, but Shutter Release is a marked improvement over their already enjoyable debut. This is a case of a band who knows their strengths and is growing with each new release, slowly perfecting the sound that captivated me in the first place. It may have been a complete surprise, but Shutter Release is most certainly a welcome one! - Media Junkie