With a swift kick in the rhythm and a heartily swinging guitar part to lead the way, Melissa Grey, David Morneau and Robert Kirkbride’s Always Becoming opens up with a song in “Being” that is as entrancing as its name would suggest it to be, and inside of the song’s few minutes and change, we’re introduced to a divine side of instrumental rock that will leave any listener ready to embrace whatever swagger is awaiting us in the next three tracks. I can attest from personal experience to the confident grooves being stacked as high as audiences can handle them in this provocatively solid EP, and while the smashingly slow march of this initial number is quite intoxicating, it arguably doesn’t hold a candle to the magnificently melodic wall of sound that comes sliding out of the speakers in “Always,” the next song in the tracklist.
“Always” sounds and feels a lot more complex in stylization than the more concise and straightforward “Being” does, but beneath its surface cosmetics, They are using the same constructional approach to the surreal elements they do here. There’s a pulsation to the percussion that contributes to the muscularity of the master mix as a whole, but even when the beats are bearing down on us like a silent predator sizing up its prey only moments before moving in for the kill, the guitar is always the main star of this song, and truly, every composition that Always Becoming has to behold.
“Ever” clocks in as the most revealingly aesthetical song on Always Becoming, running just a few minutes and making a mighty impact, and it doesn’t feel like an overextended jam session in any way, shape, or form. In all honesty, I probably would have enjoyed this track just as much were it twice as long as it is, mostly because of the ethereal way in which it builds up the tension among its audience only to find a release towards the conclusion of the song that sounded more inspired and emotional than most anything I’ve listened to on the Top 40 lately. That’s no small statement to make, but for an act like this (and an EP like this 2023 gem), it comes with the territory to some extent.
Always Becoming wraps up with a brief foray into post-rock atmospherics in “Becoming,” and as much as I love the “Being” in this record, I think that this song should have been the first one we hear in the tracklist. The trio asserts themselves as one of the premier collaborative projects in the underground today in “Becoming,” and all of the content we experience on Always Becoming, and if there were any critics left in doubt of their skills before hearing it this March, I think they’re going to be changing their opinions of their work after getting ahold of this incredible demonstration of their abilities.
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