Below The Sea Blame It on the Past

With all this talk of Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade and Stars, people often forget that these bands represent the second wave of hype from Montreal, and that the first came from post-rock overlords Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and their many offshoots. From their very fertile grounds, numerous bands shot up trying to emulate their expansive, yet unique, sound and just a handful found some success. Below the Sea took their cues from GY!BE, but, with this release, find a strong and confident voice to make their own mark. When an instrumental band start to incorporate ambient electronics, the balance should always be one of subtlety, allowing a "win-win” situation between the elements, and such is the case here. Below the Sea come up with a genuine classic in "Stroll Down Memory Lane,” which find their strummed guitars in perfect sync with the beats and keyboards from friend Ulrich Schnauss. Although it may not be hip to quote Vangelis, it is definitely a plus here, allowing a rich, deep atmosphere to bring endless aural dividends. Their apt album title showcases that although their history may bring pre-conceived notions about their sound, Below the Sea are rightly following their own path. (Where Are My Records)