Ipswich band Coalfalls achieve something remarkable for a band that plays instrumentals: they create the most evocative and lush soundscapes that speak volumes without words. We introduced the band last year with their double singles Coalfalls and Stephenson Street evoking a layered shoegaze/dream pop vibe. There is an abstract expressionism in their pieces that sparkles and shines with movement and feeling. We are therefore absolutely delighted to be able to premiere their new EP ‘Pieces’ as a prime example of what this band is capable of.
Extraordinarily, this is a live performance recorded at The Barn Recording Studios in Plainland (west of Ipswich), Queensland, illustrating the band’s ability to create a tremendous aura live and with only three musicians.
First track ‘Stone’ has a celestial delay and chorus soaked guitar creating sculptures above the driving rhythm section that pound and thunders. The complexity of the drum patterns and thundering bass bely the fact that this is a trio: there are sounds and textures that create a wall of sound that advances and recedes like a king tide riding on the guitar scything through the mix. ‘Stone’ reverberates with an all consuming power and presence that ends in a cataclysmic blast. There are, indeed, no words.
‘From 6:21’ again crests the waves created by the phenomenal percussion: a wall of clashing cymbals and hi-hats and a wild unhinged guitar that at times pulls back along with the bass create a mesmerising drone that hypnotises. This is a massive sound for a trio playing live: a sonic architecture that is dense and layered, nuanced and surprising. The shoegaze fuzz ascends and the feedback envelops at the denouement: a shattering and pulse quickening departure.
Final track, ironically entitled ‘Intro’ is a pulsating, driving track born out of an atmospheric fugue drone that picks up as the drum appear and transcends into one of those pieces that just evokes the feeling of driving along an highway in the middle of the desert on a bright cloudless day, elbows in the breeze, the wind in your hair and nothing on your mind except for the chiming guitars and pounding rhythms as the wheels hum over the burning tarmac. This is the most beautiful poetry without words.
The cover art follows the painted landscape series introduced with the band’s first release by prominent Ipswich artist Gary Abkin.
Ultimately, Coalfalls are proving to be the most innovative and creative musicians and ‘Pieces’ is a magnificent testimony to their ability to sculpture and mold a sonic temple that shimmers, snarls and pacifies within its spaces. Interspersed within this EP are monstrous waves of feedback frenzy and shoegaze fuzz that evolve and dissipate, alongside dreamy fugues and hypnotic drones that immerse and enfold you.
Focusing on an authentic capture, the tracks were recorded within a single performance session, with ‘Intro’ existing as a singular take. Companion tracks ‘Stone’ and ‘From 6:21’ were only performed twice, securing an atmosphere that reflects the band’s organic approach and commitment to a performance that is collectively “in-the-moment”.
‘Pieces’ is released on Tuesday, 31 May 2021 through that legendary purveyor of brilliant and innovative Brisbane sound, 4000 Records and you can pre-order/pre-save here.
Coalfalls with be launching ‘Pieces’ along with the fabulous The Double Happiness (see my review of their fantastic single here) and Edith Thomas Furey (see my review of his brilliant new single) on Saturday, 5 June 2021 at the Bearded Lady in Brisbane – full details here.