What does Son Cesano sound like?
Psychedelic instrumental rock focused on intricate jazzier jams hidden in the riffs.
The review of Son Cesano – Emerge
Instrumental rock can be a very difficult genre to pull off. Often it veers towards excessive guitar solos where each line is expected to blast the previous one out of the water. Sometimes the musical prowess becomes a pageantry of importance over the groove and song structure. Son Cesano side step this by focusing their instrumental rock on a progression from light psychedelia into something heavier and rawer. It ensures their music tells a story and doesn’t lose the listener in the blaze of instrumental glory.
Each of the seven tracks on ‘Emerge’ has its own progression and style but they follow that same idea. Start small, riff on something catchy and then expand it out into a raw finale. The quartet mix in an acoustic-electric sound at times before turning towards something more electric. Think T-Rex and Syd Arthur but instrumental and you’ll be in the ballpark. This allows tracks like ‘The Nordic One’ to have multiple phases that get groovier and more bombastic as a new cycle of riffs transition in. The album plays as one long 46-minute story too as songs bleed into each other. Rain from ‘The Nordic One’ signals the end of a gravelly stormy moment of rock and the clearing allows ‘The Mystic Four’ to gently guitar noodle like a phantom folk piece for a good 90 seconds before it kicks off in full form. The latter track is one of the few examples of a smokey guitar solo melody leading the way on the album. Usually, Son Ceasno focuses on feeling like a surge of instruments instead.
Quite where Son Cesano sits on the stoner/psychedelic spectrum is difficult to describe. The post-rock stylings of long tracks like ‘Ruskial’ spend several minutes noodling away before they hit the big riffs. It makes the moments when the songs become furious and focused all the more satisfying but rock fans will need to enjoy that light-to-heavy draw to fully appreciate what Son Cesano is setting out to do. Tracks like ‘Pos. T’ makes you earn that finale over a six-minute build for a two-minute frantic payoff. Elsewhere, the skippy trip beats of ‘Akt’ ends up being a short and sharp 30-second climax at the end that doesn’t quite pay off the path to get there. Occasionally, it feels like the band quite fancy breaking into the jazz scene but with guitars with how they structure their noodling riffs. I personally really liked that aspect of their writing and performing but it all leads back to one thing. Patience is a virtue with ‘Emerge’. The pay off must be earned.
‘Emerge’ is a good instrumental album though. It feels like a band that appreciates each member and doesn’t have four musicians trying to outshine each other. From that perspective, Son Cesano has a bright future ahead of them. Whilst I personally would have liked a few of the tracks to really lean into their almighty climaxes for a little longer, I think post-rock fans that want psyche-riffs at the heart of their music will lap this album up. There’s plenty to enjoy if you are happy to build up with it.
Recommended track: The Nordic One
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