Distant Populations

Written by: PP on 12/12/2021 13:22:58

Four years after their brilliant reunion album "Interiors", 90s post-hardcore legends Quicksand return with only the fourth album of their career, "Distant Populations". For those not in the know, Quicksand of course features Walter Schreifels on vocals (Gorilla Biscuits, Rival Schools), whose depth-laden howls were far ahead of their time during "Slip" and "Manic Compression", released in 1993 and 1995, respectively. It's quite funny to think that a couple of decades later, Quicksand now sounds nostalgic as if they are referencing a previous era in music, rather than the pioneering, unique spearheading act they were back during the Fugazi years. Alas, that is the nature of stylistic evolution over long periods.

That being said, "Distant Populations" offers a solid glimpse of how post-hardcore sounded during its early years. With eerie 90s vibes packed throughout, the record traverses hard-hitting, Deftones-esque lofty melodies on "Katakana" to more experimental and introspective pieces like "Missile Command". The catchiest tracks like "Lightning Field", "Colossus", and "Phase 90" utilize dreamy melodies and softly crooned vocals to achieve a lingering sense of nostalgia and buzzing distortion that will fill an arena-sized venue with their expansive soundscape. Schreifels' vocals are uplifting and soothing, nicely echoing sky-high in the expression, leaving behind a convincing atmospheric vibe overall.

Most songs on "Distant Populations" feature slow crescendos that build up to a loud chorus. In that sense, there's a sense of progression throughout the record that is best characterized as a dense, depth-laden ambiance. This, in turn, allows Quicksand to seamlessly shift between crushing distortion and lighter, soaring melodies. As a result, almost every track on the album has a consistent base quality that makes it difficult to pick out highlights on a record that doesn't feature any lulls or valleys, much like its predecessor. While not as immediately engaging and memorable as "Interiors", it nevertheless underscores the brilliant songwriting talent of Quicksand and should be a must-own record for anyone into alternative rock and post-hardcore.


Download: Lightning Field, Colossus, Phase 90, Katakana, The Philosopher, Emdr
For the fans of: Jawbox, Rival Schools, Helmet, Glassjaw, Deftones
Listen: Facebook

Release date 13.08.2021

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