Margins have crafted a record that makes you question everything you thought you knew about music. From the moment they slide into their intro track Open, you’ll melt into a world of pliable guitars, moody basslines and sonic ambient loops that combine to create expansive soundscapes across an 11-track album. Their ability to pull you into stunning adventures in post-rock instrumentals is incomparable, with Gulag offering symphonic electric guitars that cut through an unexpected moody bass riff to create six minutes of haunting, hook-laden perfection.
From the 3.40 mark of Ice Station you’re jilted from the increasingly suspended state, built up through the glorious maze of sound that now dissipates until you find yourself confronted by the sparse drum sweeps that work to cleanse the track of its intricate arrangement. The hypnosis continues in Rabbit Head, featuring vocals by Jess Cornelius (Teeth & Tongue), whose ethereal voice is entrancing, mythological and serves as a stark reminder that vocals don’t have to contain lyrics to exert their power.
This continues as Things Fall Apart does what its title suggests, exploring a relationship through sound. The spirited drumbeat that starts the track evokes a rapid movement and creates overwhelming anticipation, contrasted well with a seemingly unrelated guitar melody. These then weave together into what nearly becomes a singular, harmonised idea before the tension becomes too great, at which point they expand into two separate directions. We’re left with a hesitating guitar, perhaps left to remind us of the cataclysm that just was.
Margins have created an articulate, atmospheric album that soaks the listener in a nuance-filled landscape of sound, space and direction that becomes more intriguing with each listen
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