Boomkat Product Review:
Gravenhurst are in fine fettle on The Western Lands, having expanded their sound considerably from their glum folksy beginnings. 'Saints' is a tempered enough beginning, presenting a slowly escalating space rock motif, providing a quietly brooding bedrock for Nick Talbot's soft, echoing vocal. From there on the album quickly accumulates force, with the discordant kraut-ish beginnings of 'She Dances' morphing into an oddly gothic piece of folk rock. 'Hollow Men' is given a further injection of guitar noise, setting power chord riffing and squealing feedback against Talbot's paradoxically calm vocal. After the atmospheric acoustics of the excellent 'Song Among The Pine', recent single 'Trust' provides a happy medium between the band's varying degrees of rock and non-rock, plumping for some pretty top drawer nu-gaze, a theme continued by the scuzzy abrasion of 'Farewell, Farewell'. It's actually quite fatiguing having to mention Kevin Shields in every other record review nowadays, but sure enough, the spirit of My Bloody Valentine haunts much of this record. Who knows when the shoegaze revival is going to collapse in on itself (frankly, I'm hoping for sooner rather than later) but until then The Western Lands lays claim to being one of the finer releases in its canon. Recommended.