The Boats – 2 Bears (Self Released)


Recorded back in 2017, this double LP from Melbourne instrumental three piece The Boats harkens back to a simpler time. Not just pre pandemic, but even further, to the early 2000’s when post rock was king. There’s something positively nostalgic about 2 Bears. Melbourne has a proud history of post rock, boasting the likes of Because of Ghosts, Laura, and This Is Your Captain Speaking, and The Boats very much fit within this earnest instrumental world of slow builds, dynamic shifts and searing exultant transcendence.

With guitar (Jonah Bryon) bass (Nick Conolly) and drums (Paul Guseli), its quite fascinating in particular how sparingly and tastefully the percussion is utilised, particularly when you consider you can often find Guseli creating raucous techno music banging pots and pans busking on Melbourne streets. The other noteworthy element is the diversity with which they ply their trade, no two pieces are the same, yet they exist within the same universe – and you couldn’t imagine them created by anyone else. Clocking in at over 70 odd minutes, 2 Bears is a melancholic weary journey. It carries weight, which at times seems to impede its forward momentum, then these extended moments peaceful reflective guitar noodling suddenly bursts into intense plaintive cries and we’re moving headlong into the abyss. It’s deep, atmospheric, cinematic, and all encompassing. Further fleshing out their sound is Gina Nout on cello, Xani Kolac (violin) and Adam Simmons on alto and tenor saxophone.

If you’re a card carrying member of the post rock family then this album is for you, as you’re unlikely to find more accomplished, diverse and committed exponents in 2023.


About Author

Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.