Album #65: Lonker See – Hamza

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland
  • Label: Antena Krzyku
  • Best Track: Gdynia80

Offhand, I can’t recall ever sitting down and listening to a Polish band or musician. In fact the ‘Eastern Europe’ section of my music collection would be a bit like the hand sanitiser section at your local supermarket at the moment.

Really, we should all try to listen to as much of the world of music as we can. I thought I’d give the new album by Lonker See a try after seeing that they were supposed to be touring with Squid in an itinerary that, along with just about everything else, has been cancelled.

The band’s fourth album, Hamza is epic, challenging post-rock, more in the industrial vein of Russian Circles and Gnod than the more ambient style of Explosions in the Sky and Godspeed! You Black Emperor. It’s definitely the type of album to listen to all in one sitting rather than jump from track to track, but the disorientating eight-minute jam of ‘Gdynia80’ is a real high point, followed by what sounds like haunting echoes of ‘Edelweiss’ from The Sound of Music in ‘3-4-8’.

As the album goes on, it begins to feel increasingly apocalyptic, with the drone of ‘Put Me Out’, then the crunch and hard-edged grind of ‘Open & Close’.

Finally, closer ‘Earth is Flat’ is carried by this two-tone saxophone lament while all sorts of chaos goes on around it, concluding with an ear-piercing siren screech that makes you think that, whether the Earth is flat or round, that was the end of it.

Post-rock albums with long, drawn-out tracks like this can be hit or miss, but this is a definite hit. There’s great variety from one track to the next, even integrating Middle-Eastern influences by the sound of it. Plus it somehow tells a story, even if I’m finding it hard to explain what the story is.

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