Years of Rice and Salt - Service Bell EP
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: January 31, 2009
Yep, another masturbatory review about an English band. Years of Rice and Salt are a mostly instrumental group that shows their love of folk by including the varied string arrangements of Anthony Coyne. It sounds strange, which is probably the point, but I would be remiss if I didn’t call Service Bell utterly beautiful.
How Is It?
I’ll say it again: beautiful. Four songs totaling 32 minutes of music is quite the bargain, especially when it’s available free of charge. Everything you love about post-rock is here, except it's augmented by mesmerizing voices, reverb-like-whoa and just enough toe-tapping violin. Album standout “Splendid Isolation” initially fools by implanting a minutes-long buildup - 8 minutes is a lot of time to fill! - but once the melodic guitars of George Taylor enter, it’s like another lovely, accessible pop song. Then the band lays the drama and drums on thick for another rousing loud-soft-loud climax. However, buried in the fuzzy haze of songs like “Plankton” and “(Rearranging) Deckchairs” is that folk influence shining bright like a full bottle of whiskey after a shitty day. Sure, Service Bell is 90% post-rock and 10% folk, but at least it’s something. Years of Rice and Salt cram a lot of moods into one EP, and for absolutely no cost, you can decide which one’s you treasure the most.
Recommended If You Like: Youth Pictures of Florence Henderson and Bonnie 'Prince' Billy jr., The Ascent of Everest and Sam Beam's right vocal chord, Balmorhea accompanied by a quarter of French Quarter