Eraas - Initiation

Well, it can't entiterely escape sounding like a lot of bands coming out of Brooklyn, so you get that "trademark" adeptness at mixing up 17 Seconds Cure with Suicide and the Dinger beat.

http://eraas.bandcamp.com/album/initiation http://www.konkurrent.nl


Now this is a fine record that somehow cuts across a well explored sound - Gordian Knot-like - to add something refreshing and invigorating. I say that because it seems every record coming out of Brooklyn is a sombre, Gothic wash of keys and gloomy beats. But Eraas somehow make a nice set of thoughtful poppy tracks, ones that still like lurking around in a gloaming of their own imagination. They also (on this showing) have something in common with a number of contemporary German acts like Saroos, who also boast a whimsical, poppy side to them. In any case it all adds up to make something that little bit more appeallling, more louche, more open to interaction.

On to the record. Well, it can't entirely escape sounding like a lot of bands coming out of Brooklyn, so you get that "trademark" adeptness at mixing up 17 Seconds Cure with Suicide and the Dinger beat, as the brief instrumental track Above demonstrates. There are hints of Suicide in the beat throughout, especially in the metronmomic hisses on The Dream, which could also be construed as a Goth take on the Bunnymen's In Bluer Skies. But luckily Eraas have made something that isn't just about atomsphere or imitation; with tracks like Guardian/Descent we get great pop, the sort of electro pop that opens up a whole range of "inner" feelings and emotions; redolent too of the aspirant sounds made by early Depeche Mode or Human League. The voice sometimes comes on a bit like Ruth White's cuddlier sister, too. Ms White Mk II (nicer version) also turns up to good effect on the haunting Old Magic. Listen to this and you, too, could imagine that shafts of refracted light can be captured in the gunnels between grimy Victorian warehouses...

Talking of atmospherics, it's fair to say Eraas utilise a lot of them. The Descent is a soundscape tacked on as a coda to Guardian but it does work. And given we have other metropolitan soundscapes, such as Circling (and the muffled conversation directly before Looking Glass) it seems they are set directly against strong songs such as Splitting; almost as a way of setting up a strong "mood" for the latter song to feed off. The last track, Initiation, is the most seamless (and the best) amalgamation of this love of  dreamy floaty effects and a strong (though morose) melody.

A fine record, well worth your time. If you're feeling gloomy that is.