Mike Atkinson

Souvaris – Souvaris Souvaris

Posted in album reviews, LeftLion by Mike A on February 13, 2012

(originally published in LeftLion magazine)

In laudable contrast to the messy, acrimonious demise of so many bands, Souvaris have opted to come to an altogether more dignified end, after twelve years together. Following their final show at Nottingham Contemporary on February 17, they will part as friends, leaving this, their third full-length release, as the concluding chapter in their story.

Two years in the making, Souvaris Souvaris is a painstakingly stitched together patchwork of sound, in which the five players explore the full range of their collective craft. Genre-wise, it straddles the boundaries of post-rock, math-rock and krautrock – although to these aging ears, there are distinct traces of Canterbury prog-rock in there too.

Within each of the six tracks, there’s a constant shape-shifting of ideas, which transcends conventional logic. On the opener El Puto Amo, for instance, things kick off in a confidently striding fashion, quickly building in intensity before dipping into more reflective waters. Almost immediately, the tension starts to rebuild, as fuzzed-out washes of sound create a raging squall that eventually resolves into a stately, processional passage. Suddenly the clouds lift, as a simple keyboard line ushers in a friskier, funkier section that briefly nudges towards jazz-rock, before switching to jerky, staccato new wave. It’s a dazzling, tightly executed compression of moods, which sets the tone for the rest of the album.

Following the comfortingly downbeat Mooky, which lulls you into peaceful contemplation, the staggering closer Irrereversible leaves you breathless with excitement, as Souvaris negotiate impossible time signatures with consummate ease, concluding their business in fittingly triumphant style.

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  1. […] three-fifths of the late lamented Souvaris, who played their farewell show in February, Cantaloupe retain elements of their parent band’s […]

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