steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Winter Equinox

"Safe and Sound" CD

Crony Records

Genres: instrumental rock, post-rock

290 Bridge St W
Waterloo ON
N2K 1L2

Oct 17 - 23 2005

Granted, instrumental music isn't exactly a catch-all for entertaining these days, but once in awhile a few guys get things right.  Winter Equinox is a fine example of what can happen when things are done properly; though this isn't a post-rock masterpiece, it's a solid set of songs that incorporate mood and melody into something altogether wonderful.  Names like Mogwai and GYBE are privy to fly around in the context of Safe and Sound, but their sound has something of its own in it.  Electronic beats and synths run amok, sure, but the real fun is in how well Winter Equinox convey specific moods and settings.  This disc could easily be the score to a satisfyingly intricate film of some sort - the music has a very cinematic aspect to it, often seeming to run alongside action.  "Two Eyes," a fine example, sets a pretty flute/clarinet duet over a rolling electronic rhythm section before breaking into a GYBE-like guitar climax; it feels like it should accompany the finale of a dramatic suspense thriller or something.  "It's Always Nighttime Somewhere," meanwhile, is a slow and brooding epic designed for a scene by train tracks.  A few of the songs, like "Seeing Stars" and "Skies Over Smokestacks," have vocals - but the major point of the music seems to be the instrumental aspect.  Overall, Safe and Sound is a thoroughly enjoyable - though occasionally slow - album of moods and soundscapes.  If you like atmospheric music with melody and rhythm, pick this up right now.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 8 tracks, 51.2 min, distributed by the label, released 2005]