Ever seen a David Lynch movie? You turn on your DVD player and as soon as the film starts rolling, you can't look away. Your concept of sitting on your couch and watching a movie slow begins to melt away and you feel like you're being pulled through the screen into another world, another dimension, where everything is different... (I always found this the most true with Eraserhead, but this isn't a film review site!) OSTINATO's "Chasing The Form" is such an album and this album was so challenging that it's taken me nearly three months to finish this review.
The song "Goal Of All Believers" perfectly personifies this band with ethereal warbling tremolo guitar fading in and violins sweetly singing their sorrows. By the time bassist Jeremy starts singing in his delicate whisper, you're completely gone from the world and floating in a sea of something strange. Then, the most crushing two guitar chords you'll ever hear descend on you - these guys aren't even tuned down or using massive 100 watt flame-throwing amps... and yet, the sound from those small amps somehow crushes you - I can only describe it as being akin to a PINK FLOYD sort of moment. The psychedelic PINK FLOYD influence is all over this one, the spaciness heard everywhere is a hallmark of that. The only way I could really describe this record, really, is... dare I say? ISIS meets PINK FLOYD with a pinch of SIGUR RÓS. OSTINATO manages to avoid sounding like any one of these bands. Many of the songs are mostly instrumental, but all of them have their very own unique spice. Some of the instruments you'll hear (and that are credited on the back of the disc) are hammond organs, violins, cellos, cornets and all manners of messed up ambience.
All manner of marching beats, Latin beats, rock beats... all SORTS of flavors of percussion drive these pieces... the skill of the drummer is no surprise, because every song on here feels so structured and carefully crafted. After all, OSTINATO -is- "Chasing The Form" and just as the band name is a musical device, everything about this record just oozes songwriting finesse and the pure musical pursuit of perfection. Some of the best bass playing I've heard adorns this record and to be honest, I'm running out of words here to express my feelings about this album because I feel so many different things when I listen to it and I have the feeling that anyone who listens will have a completely different experience and feel different things... so for that reason, it wouldn't be fair to give this album a numerical rating. OSTINATO... "Chasing The Form". If you consider yourself even in the slightest to be a fan of Rock or Post Rock... you have to experience the lush soundscapes of this record.
(Online October 29, 2006)