Album Review: Cloakroom- “Infinity”

Trying to describe the sound of Cloakroom’s “Infinity” to someone who has never heard it feels a bit like trying to explain to a blind man what “blue” looks like- language is insufficient.

The sound is simultaneously otherworldly and comforting, engaging and depressed.  I spent days trying to find something I knew that sounded similar to use as a reference point, but nothing seemed close to the mark.  “Infinity” seems to truly be that rare bird- a new sound.

Fans of Doyle Martin’s previous work, Grown Ups, won’t necessarily gravitate towards Cloakroom.  The sounds are fundamentally different.  The best reference point I could come up with is to say that “Infinity” sounds like it could have been the soundtrack to Donnie Darko.  A bit reminiscent of the powerful guitars from the 70’s and confessional emo music of the 90’s, the trippy, undulating music is undoubtedly worth a listen.  Vocals sound emotive and distant, while guitars and drums melt away in slow, woozy rhythms.  5 tracks bleed into each other, creating a continual blanket of rolling noise that dares you not to sway along in time.

Opening track “Sedimentary” is an epic 9 minutes long, and seems to pull from a wide variety of influences and emotions.  Follower, “E”, feels a bit more lively, but only so in comparison to what has come before it.  “E” builds slightly, until the guitarist stomps on every pedal he owns, creating a wall of just controlled feedback.

“Dream Journal” is the shortest track on the album, at only (ha!) two and a half minutes long.  It’s muddy and pauses in unconventional places, and yet somehow it works.  This seamless transition from one song to the next reinforces the title of the album; the music does really seem infinite.

The closing track, “Mynd Funeral”, is an encapsulation of the band’s sound.  Drums are minimal and steady, guitars pulse, and lyrics sound as if they are cried out by a man whose head has just sunk below the waves of the ocean. This isn’t a song for people who like grandiose crescendos in their music.  Instead, it’s music that sounds eternal and never-ending; music to get lost in.

Slightly disturbing in their use of experimental sounds, this release is sure to be a favorite with stoners and art students.  It’s not energetic or uplifting, but it does draw you in and beg to be put on repeat if only to figure out what’s going on.

Cloakroom are about to tour the Northeast and Canada.  Their album was released on Run for Cover Records on June 16th.

4.5/5 Stars

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