When you sit back and think of a list of albums that you can effortlessly slip into, become enveloped in the sound and mesmerised by the vocals, it’s not all too often you can add a band to that list which has only recently landed on your radar.
Yet, Manchester-based band Celladoor quickly became a firm fixture of my playlists for their ability to create a perfectly rounded album with their latest release “Curf”, released November 2017.
Even from the first run through it was clear that their sludgy momentously built sound wasn’t just matured, it had been perfected in terms of expression. Whilst many albums could be described as dynamic, that really doesn’t cut how each track in Curf hits you with a completely different visceral weight through the poignant lyrics where it’s all too easy to find resonance.
And to pretend that the album nearly fits into just one genre would be an absolute injustice. Yet for those with a penchant for psychedelically, swampy, Progressive Rock, you’ll find each arrangement hypnotically distinguished.
Tracks such as track 3 Fairy Lights dial back the heavy reverb and unfold through acoustically-led melody, with the same enamouring alchemy such as Elliot Smith, Radiohead, or Nick Drake. Despite the slower pacing of Fairy Lights in comparison to the rest of the tracks on the album the sense of urgency is still palpable vocally, instrumentally and lyrically. With those three elements combined, the arrangements become ethereally blinding.
As the perfect contrast to Fairy Lights, track 4 Canal Mermaid arrests you in an entirely different way. The high-octane indulgently raw single fits a little more comfortably into the Grunge. Yet, unlike most Grunge tracks you’re not just treated to an assimilation of sounds previously made before by your favourite 90’s icons. Instead, the intricate and technical rhythms all serve to feed into the unrestrained energy. Canal Mermaid carries elements of cataclysmically heavy Nu Metal which wouldn’t disappoint Rob Zombie fans. When you get to the all-consuming anthemic build-ups followed the coarse screams which feed into the fierce momentum of the track, I’ll be honest, it’s a little bit sexy. (Not forgetting that sex appeal has always been a cornerstone of Rock. Celladoor definitely has those grounds covered.) Even when you think of even the most iconic grunge vocalists Layne Staley, Cobain, Vedder, Cornell, it’s hard to compare their vocal dynamic volatility to what Canal Mermaid serves up.
Whilst Canal Mermaid and Fairly lights are two very different extremes of what you can expect on the album, there’s not one skippable track thanks to the organically engineered substance poured into each one. With plenty of extended singles on the record, there’s plenty of progression within the soundscapes. With most bands, extended progressive singles tend to resonate as self-indulgent at best, whereas the anthemic energy which sits behind the grungy tonality on each track of Celladoor is potently immersive. Amongst the sludgy hypersonic reverb and the riffs which could tear holes out of the atmosphere. The spatially-aware instrumental progressions leave room for plenty of transcendentally pure energy in the mix to prepare you for the next naturally fluid yet unpredictable progression.
If you haven’t noticed by now, I can’t say enough good things about Celladoor and the ingenious creation Aaron James Davies cooked up. But Curf isn’t really a release that can be explained through alluding to the soundscapes, you’re going to have to feel it for yourself.
You can check out Celladoor’s latest album Curf for yourselves along with their earlier releases by heading over to Spotify.
Or, you can be a doll and buy Celladoor’s music from Bandcamp
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Review by Amelia Vandergast