Hermit Crab are an Edmonton-based instrumental band who flirt with rock, jazz, and ambient music on their self titled debut album. If you’re in the market for something noisy and experimental, Hermit Crab might be worth checking out.
The album’s first track, “The Short One,” has a serious jam-band feel to it, with a steady beat driving the otherwise unpredictable song. The song fades out and builds back up multiple times, keeping you guessing where Hermit Crab are going to take things. The song “Meat” has an unconventional song structure as well, though it sees the band taking a different, more sparse approach. The single note guitar through the song creates a general feeling of uneasiness that I can’t get enough of. These first three songs have a lot of energy that you might not find amongst the band’s peers.
“Float” is the beginning of Hermit Crab’s transition into more traditional “post-rock,” if that’s even a term. The song is a slow building piece of music that shares some noisy guitar work with the first half of the album, but not a lot else. This minimalist style is even more present in the closing track “Ferry,” which is carried by a lot of delayed guitar and electronic noise before fading out completely.
Hermit Crab have described themselves as post-minimal and the tail end of this album certainly explains why. There’s a definitive shift in tone between the first three songs and the last three songs. The beginning is much more sporadic and the end consists of mostly slow, building pieces of music. I can’t say that prefer one half to the other, and whether this shift is a good or a bad thing is entirely up to the listener. But for me, it seems like the album loses its focus. There are certainly no duds on Hermit Crab, but it doesn’t feel like a cohesive album.
Written by Justin Bruce
*edited by Danielle Kenedy