Suspende Animation (1999, Pehr)

4 songs. 35 minutes. Are your post-rock senses tingling yet? Actually this isn’t so much a post-rock album as it is an album of Low songs dragged to at least 7 minutes in length. The similarities are pretty obvious. Male/female vocals in close harmony, minimal accompaniment (guitar, bass and drums mostly, a sprinkling of piano every now and again), tempos that rarely bring themselves into triple digits. But there’s something about Timonium that makes the fact that they are in effect riding Low’s coattails on this release easy to brush aside. I don’t know whether its just the fact that I hate to write a band off simply because they sound like another band, or the fact that there’s something about almost every song on here that sticks out as being a damned pretty bit of musicianship. The opener “Resting Places” starts off like an outtake from Secret Name before it speeds up considerably at the halfway point. The epic “Neu Hampshire” is probably the best thing on here, especially the ending in all it’s noisy glory. The only point of contention I have here is that “End of an Era” is an awful choice for a final track, especially after the tone of finality that “Neu Hampshire” left off with. Otherwise this is a pretty solid release, although it pales in comparison to both its obvious influence and the band’s follow up Resist Education.

-Brent 5/17/05

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