Review: Sun Blood Stories — ‘It Runs Around the Room with Us’

Gird your loins folks, the latest album from Sun Blood Stories is out today April 21st anno domini 2017. Recorded by the band in a Boise basement, It Runs Around the Room with Us begins with a soft, melancholic ballad that nebulously floats above a heavy fog of ambient droning noise. It explores the ineffable feeling of depressive loss in the early hours of evening and, according to vocalist Amber Pollard, describes the feeling of arriving at a destination only to realize it wasn’t quite what you hoped it might be. Sun Blood Stories succeeds in materializing this vision that is effectively continued into “Step Softly Ghost” which has the sultry plod and harmonic timbre of an early Grizzly Bear album before solidifying into a high gain guitar chunk slugfest.

In “Great Destroyer,” the band describes the obliterating nature of time that, like its primordial titan Kronos, consumes its young–no sooner giving life than initiating the process of decay. Vocalist Ben Kirby sings in a detached, deadpan drawl, “great destroyer, roll on” highlighting the simultaneously linear and cyclical nature of time. History travels in Hegelian spirals, ever repeating yet ever moving in some direction. This direction, Sun Blood Stories (and our own inborn inclinations) posits, is toward utter annihilation invoking Manhattan project spearhead, Oppenheimer’s apocalyptic interpretation of Vishnu’s words in the Bhagavad-Gita “I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” Time is an obsession of Sun Blood Stories, which given their propensity for drone, makes a lot of sense. They zoom in on a moment breaking down notes into their undulating reverberations as they exegete tone beyond a notes placement on a page. In “Time Like Smoke” (the longest track on the album), the image of smoke’s scintillating expansion holds the listener within it’s own limbo. Sounds, not necessarily discordant, but only secondarily connected rabbit trail off into unknown spaces alongside the main, ethereal melody in a similar manner to Boris’ drone masterpiece, Flood.

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