Today we have a recent release by one of the most prolific Austrian record labels, Noise Appeal Records. This one recently arrived at our headquarters, and I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the sound of this group. I wasn’t familiar with Lehnen until now, but all I can say is that they sound unquestionably one of a kind. The group started when two Americans and two Austrians residing in Vienna decided to start a band. Their sound is unique as much as possible, and it cannot be defined by pinpointing into a singular genre. Over the years, Lehnen released countless singles and several full-lengths, such as Awake, I See Your Shadow and Reaching Over Ice And Waves. However, it seems that their latest recording named Negative Space exceeds all expectations when it comes to thoughtfully assembled music. Therefore, I would like to talk about this particular material today.
Negative Space contains ten brilliant post-rock compositions, cleverly arranged to satisfy even those listeners who’re not into post-rock as a genre. Nevertheless, Lehnen is not only into post-rock sound. There’s even more than meets the eye on this ear-appealing journey through intelligently built numbers. Besides the sheer dominance of post-rock, you may notice how Lehnen explores some other genres like shoegaze, post-hardcore, goth rock, dark-pop, dark ambient, ambient, and electronic music. Still, you may stumble upon some other ingredients borrowed from alternative, indie rock, and many other complimentary genres. The group continuously experiments, but somehow their sound is always compact, uniformed, and stable. They reached desired formula where almost every possible genre you can even imagine works in advantage of the aesthetics of their album.
Lehnen has all the abilities to start each composition almost completely deconstructed, separated into tiny particles, which gradually get back together until they reach harmony. All of a sudden, this harmony appears as a giant slab of cathartic, saturated, pleasant noise, followed by symphonic ambient and drones. Each instrument has its purpose on this journey and each one of them is responsible for those beforementioned tiny particles, but also much more complex melodies, harmonies, chord progressions, low-end tones of well-constructed rhythmic sequences. The soothing lead vocal comes as another layer of melodies and harmonies over the top and decorates this album even more. It’s nearly mindblowing how the entire album suits the listening apparatus. Negative Space offers a cathartic experience rarely seen nowadays on a post-rock music scene. The album is available on vinyl, compact disc, and digital platforms. Head over to Noise Appeal Records for more information about ordering.