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Crane Wars

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Album Review

With Crane Wars, the Vancouver-based post-rock quintet Beans established itself as a leading creative force in melodic experimental music. This 2001 release is the band's first full-length album since Portage. Both more focused and varied than their previous efforts (including the 2000 EP Tired Snow), Crane Wars proposes seven sweet-and-sour songs. It would be easy to compare it to the music of Godspeed You Black Emperor! There are strong similarities, such as the propensity for powerful buildups, aerial guitars, melodic themes, etc. But this album shows anything but a recipe. The opener "Window y Tower" is pure delight: a soft bassline, washes of wah-wah guitar, and a surf music meets post-rock melody. After seven minutes, the whole thing drops down to make room for an accordion theme that drives the piece for five more minutes. Ida Nilsen's squeezebox comes back in "Slow Recovery," one of the most Godspeed-esque pieces of the set. "Boston Rwa," after a moody instrumental start, turns into a Latin fiesta and, ten minutes into the piece, transforms into a spirited song with vocals. That and the half-Ventures, half-mad speed of "Lasa-ma in Pace" provide the album's highlights. With Crane Wars, Beans could be perceived as the lighter side of post-rock, an incarnation of Godspeed or Low that doesn't take itself too seriously and remains opened to sunny days and new experimentation. Strongly recommended and the best place to start in the band's discography. ~ François Couture, Rovi

Crane Wars, Beans
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