Now here is a trio! Multi-instrumentalist/producer Tyler Trotter teams with Grails’ Zak Riles and Britt Walford (Evergreen, Slint) to create Watter – a mix of sludgy metal-hinting post-rock erupting slowly, surely from pastoral folk-hues. Don’t believe me? Check out opening track, Rustic Fog from their debut six-tracker, This World. Over seven minutes it builds from moods you might have heard on the Pink Floyd soundtrack albums of the early 70s towards a crusty ridge of nearly-riffing; if Mike Oldfield had only started making music in a post-rock world it might have sounded like this.
From there it’s to Lord I Want More, the sort of slight, lovely piece you might imagine as opening passage or outro on a James Blackshaw album.
The towering, 12-minute Small Business, reminded me of An Emerald City’s best work, taking Jimmy Page’s Kashmir explorations as a starting point and circling outward, a thin trace of prog-rock ominousness creeping and crawling into place; it sure is good to hear Walford again.
The brittle groove on Bloody Monday support more post-Syd/pre-Dark Side Floydian dreams/themes, Seawater – also a 12-minute epic – feels like King Crimson covering Jakob, or maybe it’s Jakob reinterpreting King Crimson actually. And then the closing, title track returns us to the acoustic territory of Ralph Towner and James Blackshaw.
It’s a lovely set of moods – from the dark, haunting surge of prog-ish post-rock seesawing with folk-y circlings. Really great.