This Ann Arbor trio's second EP release continues to broaden the boundaries of its sonics. And the addition of horns and strings augment an already theatrical approach, adding depth to a cinematic-spacey, prog-psych post-whatever sound. These songs build, moving through several evocative passages, toward a dramatic climax. The material's assurance is admirable, as each of the three dynamic songs is keenly constructed and crisply delivered.
The title track's the most ambitious here. Singer-guitarist Sivan Jacobovitz's writhing tenor rides a creeping rumble, which begins with a sputtering buzz of guitars and static over an ominous bottom-end throb. Soon, guitars take off, screeching like Blue Angels. Midway through, the horns join in, veering from a Middle Eastern tone into skronky aggressiveness before backing off. Jacobovitz's mates then join in on backing vocals, as everything swells to a satisfying close.
"Crimes," is nearly as accomplished but also much different. It's evokes a spooky, dreamy aesthetic, driven by an undulating organ line that hugs the ground like fog from a moor. Light drum taps accent the spreading fill while guitar wraps around a modal riff. Strings join in, subtly at first, while Jacobovitz's breathy vocals match the tenor of the songs, rising to moaning cry as the instrumentation ascends to a loud stirring apogee.
"Trenchman," the EP's finale, is the prettiest thing here, though that's due in part to the more theatrical intentions of the other tracks. Supported by organ, strings, guitar, martial drums and backing vocals, it works an alluring melodic line — interrupted by a percussive, contrapuntal break — before settling back into its shimmering beauty. It's a skilled effort, rife with emotional weight that shows lots of promise for the band's future.
Farewell Republic's CD release party is Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; 324-858-9333. With the Great Fiction, Manna and Quail, and more.
Chris Parker writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.