is growing better with each release. Their
last album, 2006's Head! Foot! and the Pink Axe, was a
spellbinding doozy of a record, and Sons of Boy quickly
asserts itself as a worthy successor.
Like Head! Foot!,
this record is a characteristic epic, one that can be alternately
sinister and triumphant, extravagant and sober. Aaron Tanner
and Brett Siler have constructed an impressive instrumental
album here, and in the absence of vocals, it's the twang, crash, and
roll of guitars that do the talking. Notably, the duo has put forth
a more eclectic affair here than in the past. They begin the record
with a characteristic Explosions in the Sky-inspired opus in
"Ghost Moth," with its builds and iconic crescendos, but from then
on things get less focused. "Torticline" and superb "Neon Seals"
boast the chunky guitar chimes of Unwound indie rock of yore,
while "Chunk Feeder Blues" dips into sweltering, yes, blues, whereas
pensive "Brand of Shame" is lush and refreshingly distortion-free.
Meanwhile "Cherry Teeth (Baby Got)" and "Rib Letters" wander into
more freeform territory, although the latter is the album's
With Sons of Boy,
Tanner and Siler have secured their spot as purveyors of solid,
approachable instrumental rock. Whereas many similar bands become
lost in drawn-out climaxes and guitar convolutions, Stationary
Odyssey construct their compositions with a respect for the
listener. These songs vary in their influences, and none exceeds
seven minutes, making for a consistently engaging result. In turn,
few instrumental albums keep me hitting 'play' as often as I have
with Sons of Boy.