Jakob – Solace

After turning heads all around the world, touring internationally and releasing a 7” single, Semaphore, in Europe, Jakob return to release their third album, Solace.

The three piece from Napier, New Zealand, formed the band in July 1998 and toured nationally for years before releasing their debut album Subsets of sets, in 2002. They reached new highs with their second release, Cale:Drew, travelling all over Europe and the UK, as well as playing at South by Southwest in March, 2005, and travelling extensively around Australia with fellow musicians, Cog.

Jokob’s third album reveals seven new soundscapes of captivating spaces and endless lengths to explore. Comparable to bands such a Sigur Ros and Mogwai, the band creates music that is completely instrumental, using lush waves of noise that echo, hum and reverberate through a driving beat created by drummer, Jason Johnstone. Assisted by producer Dave Holmes, the band creates an epic album that is a vast space of flickering splendor, rather than just a wall of sound.

Solace begins with a much more energetic feeling with Malachite, where the bass and electric guitarists, Maurice Beckett and Jeff Boyle, actively build to a loud and rhythmic point. Gradually the music becomes larger, with Lonesome, as the instrumentalists begin to explore sounds rather than rhythms, in which the drums accomplish throughout. Oran Mor sees Jakob at their most severe, with distortion used at full force.

The highest points of this album are found in the songs Safety in Numbers, Everything all of the Time and Saint, sitting side by side with driving, building sounds, creating a beautiful atmosphere. All are the less gritty sounding, more gentle songs. These three songs show the atmospheric rock side of Jakob, that they have the ability to be just as delicate as they can be brutal, especially the final song, Saint.

A beautiful and captivating album, creating music that sometimes rushes through the room and sometimes sits quietly in the background. However, don’t expect anything new from this band, they seem to have followed suit from their previous albums. But when you’ve got a good thing going…Hopefully they keep it going, for adding vocals would be unfavorable when their music is so special without it.