Can’t Fake Nature’s last EP was the crushing/delicate post-rock experiment You…. In the review of the aforementioned release, I said I looked forward to seeing where CFN would take their sound on their next release. Here they are with their second endeavour – another EP with the suitably nautical title High / Low Tide. The album description takes no hesitation in outlining their influences, namely Mogwai, Neurosis, Isis and Earth. Whilst the band’s confidence in flaunting these big names in the post-rock and post-metal scene made me a little wary of what to expect, I tried to go into High / Low Tide with an open mind, remembering the pleasant listening experience of You….
The first of the four tracks, Under Low Tide, made me wonder whether my fears might not have been completely unfounded. There is nothing wrong with the opening here, but it is far from original. Keep listening though – the last two minutes of the track seem to make up for this to some degree. Bringing to mind Earth’s HEX album, the finale is a very much the wild west on the open sea – untamed and exciting, making you wonder what’s still to come. It’s from here that the EP starts to get a little more intriguing, and less of a simple replica of what’s been done before.
Grinning High Tide is wonderfully balanced and varied. Never dwelling too long on one aspect of the track, it moves beyond the ‘crescendo-core’ gimmick that so many fledgling post-rock bands succumb to. As with You…, CFN show a wonderful ability to flit between crushing walls of sound and moments of delicacy. It’s worth noting that CFN do not make music for laptop speakers – some of the most intriguing aspects of the music are hidden in the background, driving a massive sound that soon breaks down leaving just a bare guitar that is eventually joined once again to take a new direction.
The variation here continues, with the beautifully contrasting end of Waves for the Psychonauts leading into Chant for the Narwhals, possibly the highlight of the EP. Crushing guitars are accompanied by quiet ethereal cries (which might as well be Narwhals for all I know), which breaks down into an almost ritualistic mix of chiming and distant voices. This is soon joined once again by powerful riffs that carry the song through to final, shimmering minute of music.
All in all, a solid second EP from these Croatian folks. Maybe one day we’ll see an album – a potentially worthy feat if they can keep on the variety and throwing some curveballs in to their tracks.