Quicksand, first album in a while and so on.
The first thing to note is that the band don’t sound uncertain here. There’s an air of confidence as each member slots well into each role they fulfill, layering each sound they make whilst leaving plenty of space for everyone else to work with. This may be due to Quicksand now having been back together for a few years, but there is an undeniable chemistry that comes off as natural and helps propel the songs forward.
Each song sees the rhythm section quite grounded and flowing, holding the structure together really well whilst giving the angular guitar work and vocals enough freedom to work around the rhythm without floating off into excess.
At times the vocals do sound as though they were recorded under different circumstances to the instruments, but otherwise they do work well. At every stage they’re not doing anything challenging and instead are adding extra melodic layers that don’t sound removed from the instruments.
The guitar work is quite direct but not forceful and there’s a strong focus on textural layering. What is used works well and slots into each song with ease, such as a brief flourish or melodic lines following the bass, filling what space it can without taking attention away from other sounds.
In parts the songs feel as though they are pulling and throbbing, and there’s usually a fair bit of groove to each section. The songs also seem to push out a air bit, having an expansive and sometimes spacey atmosphere without the psychedelic baggage that that can attract. Interestingly there’s a number of heavy elements used and at parts a sense of tension can be felt, but overall Interiors feels quite calm without feeling lazy. This probably has to do with the heavy elements not being verbose and the careful balancing with melody.
There’s two interludes that help break up the songs without breaking the flow of the album. It’s difficult to say as to whether they were necessary or not, but they don’t detract and work well in giving a brief pause, as well as help reinforce the expansive, calm atmosphere of the album.
When a band reunites there can be a bit of apprehension as to whether the band can validate their renewed existence. On Interiors, Quicksand have done that quite well. It is an album that doesn’t feel like a cash grab and instead works well as a strong, genuine continuation of their past whilst looking forward.
It’s nice to hear Quicksand still making good music.