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What We All Come To Need Meryl Trussler , November 5th, 2009 06:19

It's got to be a semi-universal thing to sometimes just need instrumental music. That feeling that if you hear another damn word, with all its connotations and stimuli, your brain will invert into some kind of ruthless hyperdyslexia where you forget the semantic meaning of even your own hand. Maybe. Sometimes this means diving into classical, electronic, or ambient seas, and sometimes it just means throwing on straight up, gun-metallic post-rock like Pelican's.

But the advantage of using Pelican is that while the verbal faculties can rest or read Barthes or whatever, a thousand other pulpy brain bits are insidiously fiddled with by the intricacy of the music; something like those abdominal stimulation machines that claim to work whether or not you are reclining slack-jawed before Location Location Location. Fourth album What We All Come To Need is heavy and homogenous and yet full of miniature riffs bristling against each other in every bar, never approaching fret-wankery. The band themselves own to filtering aggression through a pop sensibility, and this is never truer than on some of these tracks, where the hi-distortion dirges take on an impressively catchy structure. Sometimes, like on the great Ouroboros 'Specks of Light', the doom even moves into the truly uplifting.

Oh, and it's probably worth mentioning there actually are vocals in the final track, 'Final Breath'. Nothing to wet oneself over, as it's hardly forefronted, and sounds listless/90s grunge enough not to throw anyone off balance. These Illinoisans have broad-appeal metal down pat, just like Brunel and his bridges.