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Coptic Light

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Album Review

Coptic Light deftly fuses improvisation to post-rock on this self-titled release for No Quarter. Drummer Kevin Shea (ex-Storm & Stress), guitarist Jon Fine (Bitch Magnet, Don Caballero), and bassist Jeff Winterberg (Antioch Arrow) clearly have improvisation in mind with these three lengthy pieces. But they're intuitive about it, letting soupy bass lines stretch over the insistent, tense drumming so that Coptic Light sounds not like static and chaos (i.e. Hella) but the studied feel of '90s post-rock. Post-rock, that is, with well-timed stabs of volatility. (Shea in particular can drive up your heart rate with just a few flurries of cymbal.) The set is strong throughout, always with a muscular feel but able to suggest introspection, too. "Mix the Races" alternates climaxes with stretches of drift until Fine's garbled guitar signature diminishes over the descending two-note bass line. "Horse" is moodier, an ever-growing shadow. But after Coptic Light's softer middle, "Eat It High School" hits hard with a manically compressed intro that culminates in some rewarding rock windmills. The track's second half is the comedown, and its gentle descent is streaked with grit like sunsets over the city.

Coptic Light, Coptic Light
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