Up C Down C – Black Sea

Up C Down C 

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Released October 28th 2013 through

Field Records

Today I feel like if the world has decided to celebrate my birthday early. My gift is called Black Sea and comes from Up C Down C, one of the bands I love most. And I love also their weird name. You know that there’s music and music, musicians and musicians and records and records. Well, this record is one of the best music experiences you can have. The album title is quite interesting and definitely in line with the band's music tradition – post rock lovers will remember, for example, their previous album titled Calaveras, name that is associated to the Mexican Day Of The Dead!  Black Sea is the follow up to Calaveras and have been both released via Field Records.

For those of you that till now had no occasion to get to know them, Up C Down C are a four-piece band from Kent, UK, formed in 2000. Their live performances are really famous and they have played very extensively throughout Kent, London and the UK supporting huge bands like 65Daysofstatic, Oneida, Kinski and The Drones but also headlining and setting up their own shows and tours. I do invite you to their next tours and please manage to go. Your trip will be more than rewarded.

As post rock is  my religion the new album of Up C Down C is going to be one of the milestones of my beliefs.

I’ve listened to this album again and again before starting with this review. Someone could think that I had no idea about what to write but the truth is exactly the opposite: I like this record so much that I really didn’t know where to start. So, I decided to introduce you into the world of Black Sea starting from ‘Drive’, the song that stands more or less in the middle of the album. The reason is because I’m simply in love with it. ‘Drive’ is for me the celebration and the elation of the post rock music genre; with its strong outbursts and tones that constantly change it generates its own voice and depth. The first thing I thought when I listened to it was that this song has everything inside including electronic playfulness and provokes an explosions of sensations. I could comment each moment of this work of art: have you noticed the guitar riff at approximately the minute 3:08? And what about the change in the rhythm at about the minute 2:37? This song is a paradise.

Going back to beginning, Black Sea is composed of 10 miracles of the music world and even if this journey only lasts a bit more than one hour, the experience you’ll have won’t leave you and it will be the soundtrack of your day. The opening ‘Twilight Sleep’ sounds like the perfect sound for a dark and gloomy science movie with its sinister undertones.

'Titan' starts so powerfully that you cannot understand where you are and after that a gentle decline in soft notes always guided by amazing guitar riffs. Awesome song that will please mainly post metal lovers.
The dark start of the following ‘Red Meat’ is impressive and full of tension – what do you expect from a song with a title like this? After a bunch of seconds amazing vocal will lead you in this great track full of tons of guitars, bass, drums and great build-ups.

Black Sea becomes more post rocky with ‘End Of Every Film’ that is an instrumental track and, despite the fact that the title could suggest something sad, I found it a joyful track and pretty close to Explosions In The Sky’s sound. Lovely track! Move on from this dose of sweet melody and get into the shortest track of the album. ‘Vast Machine’ with its less than two minute sound will blow your mind and works like an interlude to the great track ‘Drive’.

‘The Black Sea’ track – like the album title – represents one the peaks of this great album and maybe my favourite from it. The vocals create surprisingly melodic and epic atmospheres and are like an additional instrument and the combination is absolutely perfect.

The last twenty minutes of the album are absolutely amazing. Starting from ‘Z-more’ – I should like to ask about the idea behind this title – the experience is great: drum and guitar riffs create an heartbreaking vertigo. The following ‘La Dolce Vita’ – being Italian and living in the city where the concept “dolce vita” was inspired, I’m pretty curios about this idea and I’m sure that Fellini would appreciate it a lot. It’s a pretty melodic and really nice song.

Then the stunning ‘Hunter Gatherer’ has the honour of closing this great album. It seems that this song collects all the elements of Black Sea: the vocals, the powerful drumming, the amazing guitar riffs, the melody, the pause in the middle of the song that comes back with a new original sound almost reinventing itself and mind blowing explosion of all these instruments together.

It’s a moment of celebration: Up C Down C are back and there’s no better way to celebrate!

Released October 28 through Field Records.

  • Don Soles

    I thought with ‘Embers’ UpCdownC had peaked…but I took a chance and ordered the vinyl from the UK (very reasonable to the US), and glad I did. There is something for EVERYONE in the postrock universe on this album it is so diverse: quiet, light rock, heavy rock, metallic, vocals, no vocals…and executed masterfully. Two disappointments: I cannot convince any of my US postrock friends to give these guys a chance, and I will likely never get to see them play live in my lifetime. But thankfully Royal Air Mail delivers the next best medium.