KWOON - When The Flowers Were Singing…

Kwoon - When The Flowers Were Singing…

10 songs
52:38 minutes
***** **


Just like progressive rock in Seventies, post rock was doom since it was defined in the Nineties. The former lost its meaning once bands started to repeat ideas of the genre’s pioneers. The latter is just as true, because if the original idea of post rock was to be an extension to the conservative ideals of rock music, continuing in that vein more than a decade later also robs the genre of its once noble intentions.

That doesn’t mean that post rock bands nowadays have to right to existence anymore, but it makes brutally clear how hard it is to come up with something new. This also counts for Kwoon, a Parisian sextet who released their second album When The Flowers Were Singing… in late 2009. Consisting of eight songs, an intro and an outro, the musicians settle comfortably between the lyrical melancholy of Sigur Ros and the epic grandeur of Godspeed You Black Emperor. The two minute long intro surprises with unexpected bombast, followed by Great Escape which shows that you can use the dynamic tension of slow start / frenetic end also within the limits of a five minute song. Not all songs follow that route, some rely on being entirely slow, like Frozen Bird (except for its last minute) and the short Back From The Deep, and this is when the band feels less interesting. The album’s highlight is Schizophrenic where the musicians eventually unleash a regular guitar storm, which may have been done by others before, but always and again reminds me why post rock was so essential in the first place. Before a non-descript untitled sound effect outro, with five minutes giving the impression that its main goal was to get the album over fifty minutes long, we are treated with Kwoon’s longest cut. The ten minute epic Ayron Nova is a downright tour de force through the history of post rock and makes a nice contrast to the shorter preceding tracks.

Post rock is certainly not redefined by Kwoon, but the Parisians still did a solid job on When The Flowers Were Singing… They display a deep knowledge of their chosen genre, and the instrumentation consisting of guitars, bass, drums, cello, keyboards and vocals makes for a varied sound which takes further advantage of its fine production. There are certainly many less interesting genre bands around. Kwoon manage to combine the two different extremes of post rock into a hybrid offshoot that definitely has its merits.

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