by Aaron Gidney
SEIMS are a cinematic Math Rock band hailing from Sydney, Australia. Four is the band’s latest numerically-titled offering, following on from 2017’s aptly-titled, Three. The album was released on Oct 22 via Bird’s Robe, Art As Catharsis, and Dunk! Records.
Apparently, the concept of the album was initially inspired by the Myers-Briggs personality indictors. The band’s official website outlines the following thoughts on the concept behind the album: “I always found it fascinating how words on paper can change inference, intent, or perspective purely by someone’s speaking tone and demeanour, and also how it can be received or perceived based on your personality, context, and cognisance.” Deep themes indeed, and beside a heavy concept, the music is equally full of depth. It certainly feels like a lot of effort, thought and design has gone into this opus. At 44 minutes, it feels heavy, complex and commanding in equal measures.
The band state that ‘this album is all about unintentionally misconstrued conversations – multiple voices / themes saying one thing, and being received or misinterpreted a very different way.’ – and its both intense and full of melancholy throughout the ten tracks. There’s moments of uplifting joy (Elegance Over Confidence) to deep despair and chaos (A Showdown Without A Victim).
Most of the album is instrumental, with forays into vocals every now and then, sporadically placed across the album. This helps the listener truly focus on what the music is trying to convey in terms of the concept and perhaps gives room for the listener’s interpretation. There’s a good use of sequenced synths a la Stranger Things Theme, alongside some more typical Math/Post Rock Guitar/Bass/Drums intensity.
The softer moments on the album such as Biting Tongues offer a welcome relief from some of the intensity and is a more reflective piece before building into a noisy (deliberately so) second half, utilising strings and tremolo picked, reverb-laden lead guitar.
Nuance Lost In Translation recalls some of the earlier sequenced synth thematic styles, this time using clean, picked guitar arpeggios overlaid with piano and strings before reintroducing the synths. The track also features what sounds like harp towards the back end of the piece adding a nice orchestral feel to proceedings.
Overall, the quieter moments are moments of reflection for the listener and the louder sections feel deliberately intense and chaotic giving the album a duality feel which screams class in terms of the design of the tracks and album flow. A great piece of cinematic work.
1. The Mountain’s Lullaby
2. The Pursuit of Happiness
3. A Showdown Without A Victim
4. Shouting At A Brick Wall 5. Stranded. Isolated 6. Elegance Over Confidence
7. Biting Tongues
8. Nuance Lost In Translation
9. Understatement 10. The Mountain’s Scream