Silence Magnifies Sound

Instrumental bands have become increasingly popular in the Bay Area, perhaps due to bad experiences with “frontmen” that should’ve invested in vocal lessons. What separates TSPS from the hordes of bad instrumental startups is its ability to write brooding melodies without relying on overt repetition. From the album’s opener, “In a Late Style of Fire,” to the magnificent title-track, the presence of viola, e-bow and even lapsteel are welcome additions. Allen Karpinski and Tim Gerak play around the confines of sweltering, downtempo rhythms. As leading exponents of an extremely elite movement, which includes Swords Project, Oma Yang and Mogwai, this Brady Lake, Ohio-based band makes melancholy music for those downcast days driving along the coast or the great expanse of Interstate 5. Just as silence magnifies sound, beautiful, non-lyrical ventures like this can leave us dumbfounded and silent.