ALL INDIA RADIO – Red Shadow Landing
PETE WALSH explores the dreamy landscape of transcendent instrumentalism.
Martin Kennedy’s All India Radio are veterans of the underrated cosmic force that is instrumental rock, and Red Shadow Landing is yet another testament to their exemplary service record in the Australian music industry. The chilled ambient stylistics of the band have featured in many TV shows and films, and as their 10th full-length release, this album shows no sign of breaking from their well-crafted niche.
While many are overzealous in their use of the term post-rock (of which I take umbrage), there is certainly an aura of infinitude to the tunes that transcends contemporary forms of rock. Sounding remarkably akin to bands like Silver Ray, The Necks and less-heavy sleepmakeswaves, their latest album makes for an instrumentally cinematic experience.
Pulling in a swathe of influences and generic stylistics the lone star-spangled guitar strums on Golden lend a Western feel to the song — offset by dreamy triangle sections. The laidback discordant progressions of The Original are tempered by a mariachi snare backbeat and occasional castanets, creating a bizarrely delicate quasi-extraterrestrial quality. Meanwhile, the minimalist sections on Tomorrowland decorate the album with dystopian vibes, evoking a truly transcendentalist musicality which continues on the following track The Lie.
The real anomalies on the LP are the upbeat layers that can be found on Don’t Leave, resulting in what feels like the build-up to a ‘boy-meets-girl’ scene in a low-budget indie film. The concluding Afterlight is exactly what it offers: a delightfully meandering palate cleanser as AIR showcase their diverse talents.
PETE WALSH is an ex-Rave contributor and vagrant writer, a literati, music aficionado and coffee snob.