This is a review of "Lucky Jack / Build Around Me" recorded by i concur. The review was written by Ben Partridge in 2008.
As far as ‘post-rock’ goes, i concur appear to amass all the hallmarks of the genre with the precise and systematic grace of the consummate disciples they purport to be. Yet there is a hint of a more seductive, sultrier rather than sulky attempt to soften the edge of their antecedents such as Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Explosions in the Sky, with the wistful meanderings of pensive alt-country. Whether this works successfully, remains to be seen however. There is a fantastic balance between each instrument at work in these two songs, but it isn’t clear from either which particular stripe of ‘post’ anything i concur really want to be, if at all.
‘Lucky Jack’ opens with a guitar chime; the instantly recognisable delay-rich ring of the post-rock universe. But this is no jingle. Tim Hann’s chaste and non-committal vocals lilt hesitantly atop a familiarly brooding backing, casually morose. All very well. However ‘Lucky Jack’ never quite gets off the ground completely; it’s over before it’s really begun to be the towering effort it might have been. The restraint i concur demonstrate doesn’t seem to allow for the ferocious climactic point the listener expects to come at the logical pinnacle of such a ‘build up’. Suddenly it feels a little tame, a little too reticent for what the song requires.
‘Build Around Me’ is simply a better end with more or less the same means. Again, the spangled opening guitar riff with its country swell, still much more mid-west then Pennine, is perhaps the most distinctive moment. With a bit of M62 myth thrown into the mix however, the nail is truly hit on the head for lovers of the narrative trajectories of pedagogue-rock. This could quite easily be iLiKETRAiNS. It’s not quite as spacious or voluminous as their fellow dwellers-in-fiction however, and the vocal delivery still lacks that extra depth, but the chorus, for all its wool-gathering, is a great evocation of legendary stubbornness.
i concur haven’t quite reached Herculean proportions yet, and going so far as the strident pomp of This Et Al wouldn’t really be appropriate, but a little more oomph wouldn’t go amiss. The possibility of them striking the balance between their equal loves of casuistry and cacophony certainly isn’t far-fetched though; something brilliant looks to be blossoming steadily somewhere over the next peak in the moorland of music.