NYOS Unveil Forthcoming Third Album – ‘Navigation’.
Technology has opened up a lot of avenues in modern times for bands that sit outside of the traditional 3 pieces-or-more configuration, and NYOS are one such Instrumental duo from Finland that have embraced the possibilities offered by loop pedals to augment their sound. With their soon to be released third album, Navigation, they demonstrate interesting and novel ways of working around the potential limitations of a single guitarist and drummer setup, and even though their songs have clearly been developed with loops in mind, they feel dynamic and alive in a way that shows the band have clearly cut their teeth while on the road, rather than in the drawing room.
The record is full of the sort of angular and intricate Math-Rock guitar lines that lend themselves well to repetition, but the band have been clever to use them as an overarching textures while simpler, more emotively powerful melodic changes move underneath. This willingness to incorporate emotive lines into the music is very welcome as I find it’s something that can be missing from instrumental math rock in favour of ever more convoluted guitar work. That’s not to say that the 6 songs on offer here are basic – a lot of thought has clearly gone into the way these songs flow and their execution and there is a great deal of variety in their arrangements. At times, Navigation reminded me of a mix between the interlocked math-guitars of a-tota-so, the heavy edge and sweeping melodic aspects of the likes of Brontide or duo-centric arrangement sensibilities of much missed duo Cleft, although considerably less off the wall or effects drenched than the latter.
As the record unfolds, guitar phrases layer upon one another and washes of feedback swell up and recede again, as the tracks invariably build into noisy, heavy and distorted climaxes which belie the fact there are only two noise makers here. There is always a strong groove underpinning things, which is great – when it comes to math, it’s nice to be able to nod/headbang your way through a whole record, and there are plenty of satisfyingly heavy moments that fulfil that urge here. It’s worth noting that I never missed the lack of bass guitar – guitarist Tom Brooke’s subtle use of pitch effects fills out the sonic space and combined with the interplay between Tuomas Kainulainen’s energetic and jazz/breakbeat infused drum patterns the band sound far larger than the sum of their parts.
I found Navigation to be a hypnotic and engaging release and one which showcases a band that have hit their stride. I get the feeling that the songs and energy captured here would make for a great live show too – with any luck they will visit the UK at some point and I’ll get to find out for myself.
Navigation will be released on 29/09/17 in collaboration with Meta Matter Records.
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