I've been listening to Volumes for a couple of days now, and for all its ambient, experimental leanings, it isn't a formless listen. Sure, there's the myriad instrumentation (from samplers and synths to horns and woodwinds), sprawling build-ups and occasionally complex rhythms. But at its heart, Volumes is about captivating instrumental melodies as much as it's about lush production. Side B's "Ramrod" is as aggressive as its title suggests, barreling through roughly eight minutes with a simple but commanding riff and a wall of dynamic noise. Drummer Scott Martin is a machine. Bassist Adam Bednarik (who engineered the EP at House of David) constructs transfixing bass lines while players Ryan Norris, William Tyler, Matt Glassmeyer, Ben Marcantel and Jonathan Marx provide flourishes that are sometimes grounded and familiar, and at other times wonderfully alien.
It probably goes without saying that Volumes will likely appeal to fans of bands like Tortoise, The Sea and Cake, Do Make Say Think, et cetera, but I'll go ahead and say it anyway: Volumes will likely appeal to fans of bands like Tortoise, The Sea and Cake, Do Make Say Think, et cetera. As always, this evening's Grimey's in-store is free.