SEARCHING FOR CALM - Celestial Greetings

Searching For Calm - Celestial Greetings

11 songs
52:28 minutes
***** *****


Some bands have such an idiosyncratic approach that it must be hell for their labels to adequately promote them. It is rather unhelpful to reduce Searching For Calm from Poland to an experimental crossover band, and while the comparisons to Mars Volta, The Refused, Sonic Youth and Dillinger Escape Plan may whet your appetite, they are also only partly revealing.

Three years after their self-titled debut album, the quintet is back with its second longplayer Celestial Greetings, and the first couple of songs will definitely leave you clueless. The opener Screens is a wild and hectic ride that still do justice to the aforementioned influences, but the following The Fall is already much less chaotic although still anything but usual. The songwriting, while not being anything you would hear on the radio, manages still to be incredibly catchy. At times I even felt reminded of the criminally underrated Last Crack. On Follow they even show that you can write a hit song under three minutes. Transformation on the other hand runs for generous six minutes and shows the band from its more epic side. The vocalist is amazing with his high quavering voice which perfectly puts its stamp on the sound otherwise dominated by intricate guitar work and breathtaking rhythm section… as if Shudder To Think decided to stop being wimps.

It is telling that the weakest song on the album is a cover version, in this case of the Talking Heads classic Once In A Lifetime. Somehow Searching For Calm feel more at ease with their own material. Placed in the middle of the album, it is followed by more quality material, starting with the aggressive Airs And Graces, before the seven minute long Celestial allows for some respite again. The last three tracks once again enchant with progressive structures, jazzy guitar work, hypnotic vocals and nervous drums, creating songs full of unexpected twists and turns.

I am ever so reluctant to decorate an album with the maximum rating, but Searching For Calm are not only incredibly intense, but even more appealing than the great bands mentioned as influences by their label. Those of you who still love to be challenged by new music absolutely have to get Celestial Greetings. You may not get all there is to it at first, but it will certainly grow on you. This is a pure work of genies!

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