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We the Wintering Tree

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Album Review

Originally released in a small edition in 2004 and reissued by Burnt Toast Vinyl following the wider success of the 2007 EP Push/Pull, We the Wintering Tree is the almost entirely instrumental debut full-length by Louisville, KY's Foxhole. Clearly heavily influenced by their northern Kentucky forebears Slint and all the post-rock offshoots that sprung from there, Foxhole also take a number of cues from the likes of Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky: songs tend to build slowly over the course of several minutes, finally exploding into a cacophony of pealing guitars, crashing cymbals, and squealing trumpet. It's a well-worn form of song structure at this point in the post-rock game, and Foxhole don't really bring much new to the party in terms of technical or philosophical innovation. (Foxhole are regularly pegged as a Christian rock band, though it's unclear how that term applies to an album on which even the rare songs that have vocals bury them so far in the mix that the lyrics are unintelligible.) That said, We the Wintering Tree is an entirely solid example of the form. Recorded live in a disused church sanctuary, the album has an impressively organic, full sound, and the subtle but effective use of tapes and sound effects on tracks like "Dead Rimes" and "A Childen's Canto" compares favorably to the likes of Godspeed You Black Emperor!. Those who have yet to be impressed with this post-millennial form of prog won't have their minds changed by We the Wintering Tree, but it's definitely worth a listen for committed fans of the style.

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Less of a Christian group than an indie instrumental post-rock band with similar cinematic qualities as Swords and Maps, Foxhole were formed by Adam Moore and Nathan McBroom in November 2000. They started playing shows and recording in western Kentucky, hodgepodging their members together from one show to the next. Early shows involved random improvisation in their sets and a variety of instruments, including glockenspiels, bottles, and signal generators, as well as homemade inventions (like the...
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We the Wintering Tree, Foxhole
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