Big|Brave are an experimental post rock trio from Montreal, Canada. Two guitars and drums should not be capable of such oceanic noise.
The album was recorded with Efrim Menuck of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and if you’re familiar with that band (and you should be) there will be much of interest here. It’s almost as if Big|Brave have decided that the weird, ambient passages of GY!BE records are where the action is and decided to expand on that sound. And it works better than you’d expect. Guitars scrape and drone, volume oscillates wildly. There is very little to cling on to for safety in ways of rhythm or, heaven forbid, groove. Unusually for post rock, vocals play a prominent part here. And they are really something. Robin Wattie’s voice envelops this record like a kudzu plant, sometime as a chant, other times as incantations. It is bewitching and thrilling.
The five tracks that make up the 45 minutes of ‘Au De La’ drift along at times like continental plates, full of looming tension and friction, offering the occasional rumble before colliding and producing mountains of noise. ‘Look At How The World Has Made A Change’ lurches into life like an Industrial Revolution-era factory about halfway in, a looping distorted guitar providing the jump-off point for Wattie’s vocals. Nearly halfway into ‘And As The Waters Go’, Wattie’s increasingly hysterical wailing is nearly drowned by a ponding repeated chord that crashes like a tsunami. ‘Re(Collection) Part II’ is nearly soothing by comparison, a lengthy, funeral procession to God knows where, Menuck seemingly assisting with vocals.
This is a beast. Play it very loud.
‘Au De La’ is out now via Southern Lord.
The album is currently streaming in it’s entirety on Soundcloud so go check it out before you buy it on vinyl along with massive speakers.