Long Distance Calling - Satellite Bay
Viva Hate Records
Instrumental Post-Rock
7 songs (58'44")
Release year: 2007
Viva Hate Records
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

Somehow this week managed to turn into a way-off-center the-road-less-traveled instrumental heavy music at my listening compound. Or, in the case of the German newcomers Long Distance Calling, it may not even be that heavy. The latter is completely irrelevant, as with Satellite Bay the Germans delivered a record which needs to be heard by both post-rock aficionados and the bashers of this emerging genre. With these seven tracks this very much non-metal looking troupe has demanded you pay attention. I did, and I guarantee you will put Satellite Bay on continuous play, if you do the same. The album will certainly be hailed by the fans of Isis, Pelican and Mouth of the Architect, but it also may convert the post-rock unbelievers, it has that kind of draw, charisma and execution.

The hour Long Distance Calling is going to take out of your life will fly by unnoticed. The 7, 8 and 10 min compositions will feel weightless, spontaneous and reaching obvious pinnacles-conclusions. Just like any self-respected post-rock record, Satellite Bay compositions do not rush themselves, the collages unfolding slowly, steadily gaining layers. Things often start percussive and quiet, with mesmerizing shoegazing melodies ebbing and flowing as the band finds the room to add on strength in just about every composition. Nowhere else the term “swell” is more appropriate than with The Very Last Day, an ominous ode to Greenhouse Effect, world’s ocean waters rising, washing away New York City, Venice and Amsterdam. From ill-omened tribal march The Very Last Day grows into an eerie calm apocalypse, which in the end is not so calm anymore. Al Gore would have been proud of how his message is resonated by Long Distance Calling.

Without vocals the band is able to deliver a very diverse, and unmistakably identifiable, variety of moods with Satellite Bay various tracks. Aurora chugs along with jingly groove, but radiates ambience nonetheless. Fire in the Mountain progresses from the clean guitar and captivating warm bass line to an almost melodic explosion, perpetuated with unrestrained melodic tremolo. Built Without Hands, which actually has written lyrics, sung by ex-and-now The Haunted Peter Dolving, is an emotional continuous post-core breakdown, while Horizon is almost euphoric in its bouncy happiness.

Not in your face, almost tender, production suits the sound of the album perfectly. I didn’t sense any anger emanating from Long Distance Calling, and their visions, even if concerned with Judgment Day, are dreamy and hopeful. All bandmembers are delivering masterful performances, but the Germans are right in starting off their line-up with the drummer Janosch Rathmer. Without his high-hat rustle, cymbal crushes and superb percussive feel, Satellite Bay would not have happened.

The band’s name may be difficult to Google, as instead of the website link you will get a gazillion offers to call your friends or family for cheap. Be patient, and check out www.longdistancecalling.de or their MySpace page (www.myspace.com/longdistancecalling), as you are in for one monster of a post-rock album.

Killing Songs :
Fire in the Mountain, Aurora, The Very Last Day
Alex quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by Long Distance Calling that we have reviewed:
Long Distance Calling - Long Distance Calling reviewed by Jaime and quoted 85 / 100
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