Ataraxia/Taraxis is Pelican’s first new material in nearly three years. I’m a bit of a fairweather fan of theirs - City Of Echoes and What We All Come To Need never really clicked with me. But, this new EP caught me off guard and I’m totally in love with it. Known for their extensive instrumental metal, riddled with complex guitar layers and effects, Pelican decided to punch it all into a compact 18 minutes for this record. Ataraxia is a Greek word for tranquility of the mind. Ataraxia/Taraxis might be characterized by it’s slow density, but is anything but tranquil.
TopShelf Records and Mylene Sheath teamed up to co-release this split 12″ from Caravels and Gifts From Enola (respectively) – a quick collection of post-hardcore and experimental instrumental rock (also respectively). I’m hesitant to call Gifts From Enola “post rock”, their experimentation with fuzzy guitars and metal/post-hardcore drumming shouldn’t be pushed into the same box as The mercury Program or Godspeed You! Black Emporer. What I really enjoy are the increased use of Nate’s (bass) vocals, buried in the mix of Gifts’ tracks. It creates a pained, haunting sound, animalistic even. This split is my first real listening experience with Caravels and I find their songs enjoyable. But I really like the play on words they use for their song titles: “Sagan Genesis”, “Beer Pressure”, & “Bone Voyage”. Clever.
Artwork was handled by the always wonderful Charlie Wagers. He used an old photograph he found in an antique store for the cover. Printed on 12″ single pocket sleeves with a slight metallic sheen. The cover looks like an old silver nitrate photo. Even more striking, are Charlie’s contributions to the insert (see below) – his hand lettering is gorgeous. Plus, there’s the beautiful array of colors this record comes. Each record label received two exclusive colors, while Gifts From Enola and Caravels split up the clear copies.
Check out Caravels tracks from Well Worn on TopShelf’s website, here.
And Gifts From Enola’s tracks can be streamed on their BandCamp, here.
Copies of Well Worn on white vinyl are still available from Mylene Sheath, here.
Want to win a copy of Well Worn? I’m giving one away right here.
Caspian’s Tertia is an album that needs no formal introduction in my collection (see below). We’re long time friends. But, for the unacquainted, Tertia is Caspian’s third album, originally released in 2009. A beautiful zenith of all things in the post-rock/instrumental rock genre: from the delicate to the hammering. Why waste any time – listen to the entire record free and legally, right here.
The first pressing of Tertia quietly sold out, so Mylene Sheath just had it repressed. Their first repressing in label history, actually. To celebrate they upgraded the jackets, from a full color 20-pt single pocket to a full color 20-pt double gatefold. The 2nd pressing no longer includes the beautiful booklet that accompanied the first pressing – full of photography and poetry the complemented the music on Tertia. But, I imagine it was far too expensive to produce and still keep this repressed at a price point that’s appetizing to new fans. And my god do these discs sound immense. Some of the first press (hazes) suffered from lots of surface noise. This 2nd press is full and rich, comparable to the black 180 gram OG edition.
White copies of the album are long sold out. But a few copies on gold remain and can be bought from Mylene Sheath here.