20 March 2017

Review: Parachute For Gordo – Possibility Of Not

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Parachute For Gordo are an instrumental three-piece from Aldershot.  Their genre is post-rock, however their music is also heavily influenced by indie.  Possibility Of Not is a six-track album, the third album the band have produced.

I’ll be honest, I often struggle to enjoy listening to instrumental bands.  They are usually great musicians, however, there are so many potential pitfalls.  Normal song structure and repeating sections without development just won’t cut it, so the imagination required for composition needs to far exceed that of most bands.  Next is finding the right balance.  It’s common to want to express yourself and display your musicianship, however, this can often affect the authenticity of a song.  The songs still need to gel and flow for people to enjoy the music, rather than just appreciating the skills on show.

Parachute For Gordo generally manage to overcome these problems in this album.  The guitar and bass parts, especially, are less complex than they could be at times, but it creates a much nicer, fuller sound as a result as the guitar can then fill the chord rather than just playing intricate solos and the bass can just provide the depth when required.  Also the songs are written in a way that sections tend not to be repeated.  This helped keep attention throughout the album, which is credit to their composition.  Sometimes the sections were a bit longer than necessary though.

The most notable things about this album are the philosophy of the band and the production by the band themselves.  Their aim is to emulate as natural a sound as they can.  The band choose a live feel on their recordings, so whereas most bands cut and paste the best sections from each take to create the perfect part, they use parts which are just from a single take.  This does mean any flaws or mistakes stay in, which you can’t help but notice every time.  The usual aims of creating perfection are cast aside in the production too.  Aside from taking the harshness out of the cymbals and use of reverb on the drums, there is relatively little production used.  Each instrument sounds similar to how it would if you were sat playing it in your room.  I’m aware that this appears like a good thing, but the drums, especially, just don’t stand up against other recordings.  The toms don’t have the depth or power, the snare isn’t snappy and the cymbals sit too far to the front of the mix.

I believe the band created the sound they wanted on this album, however, I am a believer in making the recording the best it can be then endeavour to emulate it live.  Authenticity comes in live performances, however, the live feel on an album is potentially for the bands benefit, rather than the listeners.  Parachute For Gordo have a philosophy of their own and stick to it and I thoroughly respect that.  I love the approach to the composition of the songs on the album.  For an instrumental band not to be self indulgent when songwriting is refreshing. There are also many who appreciate minimal production, however, I felt like an observer on the outside, rather than being welcomed in.  I want the music to grab me, pull me in and make me feel like I’m involved in the experience and it didn’t quite do that for me.

Rating: 6/10

Band Link: Facebook