Glowworm: The Coachlight Woods
Post Dog

On its debut full-length The Coachlight Woods, Portland-based “chamber rock” duo Glowworm offers nine elegantly-crafted excursions that segue effortlessly from guitar-fueled shredding (the heavy, slow-motion post-rock of “Cracks in the Desert Sea of St. George”) to moments of tranquil sweetness. The group's comprised of pacificUV members Kevin Davis who complements his guitars, keyboards, and electronics with the heft and punch of Jess Robert W.'s drumming.

The album opens with the pretty “Periphescence” whose opening organ chord sequence may be a nod to Philip Glass, so reminiscent is it of Einstein On the Beach. However, the placid glockenspiel, piano, and pealing guitar lines that ensue establish Glowworm as its own band, and when the drums kickstart the aggressive coda, it's clear that The Coachlight Woods has more in common with Mogwai and its ilk than Glass. As the set unfolds, it becomes clear that guest Tony Rogers should be granted full-member status, so integral is his string presence to the numerous tracks on which he appears. His singing tone lends “Lux” elegiac gravitas, and his strings enhance the pealing guitar melodies of “Contrails.” The Coachlight Woods is a largely seamless forty-six minute travelogue, and the group is commendably direct: with the exception of the eleven-minute outro “Glow Scraped from the Earth,” which seems to reflect back upon and re-encapsulate the album's journey, Davis and Robert W. side with brevity: whereas other groups might take a quarter-hour to traverse the distance, it takes Glowworm no more than five minutes to reach the epic post-rock heights of “The Captive.”

April 2008