Year After Year


Californian band Idaho have unavoidable similarities with Red House Painters and American Music Club, principally because of the speed at which they play their music (ie slow), but also because the circle of slo-mo peers is small. If fast rock music is necessarily extrovert, then slow rock music if not insular is more personal, self-possessed. In Idaho’s case, their reason for existing seems to be to locate purity in pain and sadness. The band themselves are on record as describing their music as “almost tragic” so there’s little point assembling a case against. Importantly Year After Year is not merely an exercise in navel-gazing. The long-time friends Jeff Martin (classically trained) and John Berry (former drug-fuelled ne’er-do-well) make music of poise and power, the songs turning around simple chord changes, their gravity enhanced by Berry’s corrosive feedback-drop. On “Here To Go” the ghost of Thin White Rope is evoked by sustained notes and dark noise that makes the heavy chording sound like it’s about to collapse under its own weight. The dynamic is subtle: it feels like a storm is perpetually going to burst and the songs crackle with tension because of course it never does. Disquieting mood music for the serious of mind.