The work of Alessio Natalizia
and Sam Willis, WALLS find themselves opening for Battles during their
US tour this month. One can understand why, as the duo's sophomore
album is perfect fare for warming the cockles and calming the excitement
of any prospective feverish post-gig punters. At only 36 minutes long,
WALLS could practically play Coracle in its entirety.
The album offers a spatial environment of echoey backgrounds and melodious
keyboard tones that flicker with sonic effects, vocal samples and
spring-loaded Krautrock guitars - akin to post-rock experimentalists
Seefeel; they share a similar liking for morphing ambient strains
with fuzzy shoegaze.
Perhaps WALLS are a little more excitable; occasionally bursting out
of their shell with edgier, dance-oriented tinglers on tracks such
as Sunporch and Il Tedesco - loudening the spectrum by throwing lampooning
beats into the mix.
For the most part, however, Coracle is a rather lovely album of shimmering
guitars and glacial synths that should appeal to the deep-thinking
daydreamer in all of us, with a handful of sprinkled glacial melodies
also helping to make much of the music stick. Raw Umber/Twilight ups
the anti to delve into poppy electronica - the most satisfying aspect
of Coracle, perhaps, is that Natalizia and Willis do not reign in
the music to fit the cast, but allow the ideas behind the instrumentals
to unfurl and reach their true potential.
Having said that, the closing Drunken Galleon's smooth sine waves
and glistening guitars are so mesmerically ambient, you kind of wish
another 10 similar tracks would follow.