Every Silver Lining Has A Cloud: Every Silver Lining Has A Cloud

Sigur Ros, Flying Saucer Attack, Mira, Mogwai, and Labradford are cited in the press release as spiritual kin to Every Silver Lining Has A Cloud (the group itself cites Slint, Hood, Set Fire To Flames, Mono, and Explosions in the Sky, among others, as influences), but one the group often evokes—Godspeed You! Black Emperor—is conspicuously missing from that checklist. If Every Silver Lining Has A Cloud does seem to be channeling the spirit of the Montreal-based collective on its debut album, such a move isn't wholly unwelcome, given that Godspeed You! Black Emperor hasn't released new music for a good many years now (though rumour has it some may again appear at some future date), so one could make the strong argument that the French duo of Guillaume Pintout (guitar) and Cyrille Holodiuk (percussion) are filling a void some might desperately wish to see filled.

Certainly they've got a lot of the requisite moves associated with the Montreal troupe down pat, such as dramatic, oft-mournful builds and epic, guitar-heavy climaxes. In both groups' cases, the music alternates between episodes of delicate quietude and ferocious grandiosity, with glockenspiel sprinkles and strings gracing the former and crushing electric guitar playing leading the charge in the latter (e.g., “The Air is on Fire”). The presence of strings makes the connection even stronger, as cellist Haluka Chimoto, who's played with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Strasbourg and the Tokyo City Philharmonic, enhances the elegiac beauty of “The Sun Is Already Gone” with his emotive contributions, and the languorous slow-build of “Such A Waste” also benefits from his presence. Field recordings (children playing in “The Leaden Sky,” industrial street noises in “Leaves Across the Roads”) add to the music's cinematic character, as does the addition of American poet Ashley Rugge to two tracks. The opener “Against All Odds” finds her delivering a poetic voiceover against an elegiac backing of dusty piano and tremulous electric guitar, and she also does the same during “Where Earth Meets Sea,” with her voice heard amidst the creak of a docked boat and molten guitar shadings. “The Leaden Sky” segues between peaceful atmospheres and grungier episodes, with drums and guitar stoking a raw heat that's not unwelcome, given the degree of elegant control applied to the group's attack elsewhere, and in the grand tradition of post-rock, the album includes two long-form settings, both of which arrive at album's end. The advantage of such length is that it gives Every Silver Lining Has A Cloud a chance to let its music patiently develop and thus build more dramatically. As a result, the penultimate piece, “Leaves Across the Roads,” opens with a delicate guitar weave that eventually grows into a howling storm of hellacious intensity that would do Mono and Explosions in the Sky proud.

August 2011