Context – holding down the fort

Today we again play the game “YouTube Recommends Things”, in which I accept YouTube’s recommended listening suggestion and see how it plays.  It’s a game full of mystery and anticipation, where the highs are high and the lows are infuriatingly low.  Let’s check in with the judges to see how today’s album ranks:

0/2 YouTube, get your shit together.

A harsh judging, indeed.

There isn’t anything particularly painful about this band.  If you’re super into post-rock or ambient-esque music, I’m sure this is a box full of kittens.  Soft, warm, purring kittens ready to cute their way out of punishment for ruining your grandma’s sofa.

But as someone who is relatively new to the genre and just wants some office background music, Oh Hiroshima takes some leaps I’m not 100% on board with.

The main issue i have is the lyrics and the singer.  And mostly just the fact that they exist at all.  The best part of ambient music is the soundscapes–the ability to roll through meandering themes and melodies that don’t have to resolve themselves but still have the ability to reference themselves at later parts of a song or album.  But when you introduce lyrics you introduce more structure, a structure is kind of the opposite of ambiance.  I want to get lost in a sea of sound, not wait for the chorus to drop.

The added structures make this feel less like the instrumental post-rock I’ve come to occasionally adore and more like a band that can’t find its footing.  Not quite grounded enough to be a Minus the Bear or Yeah Yeah Yeahs, both of which integrate the fun effects of shoe-gaze but retain whatever makes rock and pop-rock successful, not quite committed enough to be Explosions in the Sky or Godspeed! You Black Emperor, who really want to take you on a journey through their forest of over-saturated timbres.

So I don’t know.  Not unlike much of the other music I’ve reviewed here this isn’t painfully bad, but not something I’d actively recommend unless you were trying to dig deep into some alt-genres or some shit.

The real take-away today is that I definitely need a Spotify subscription, YouTube’s algorithms are not working out for me.