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April 24, 2006 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

Alabaster Theatre. Reign of the Oak EP

We’ve reached that point where Bogan kids raised on Tool are growing up and making albums of their own, The Mars Volta sell millions of albums, and indie fans now rave un-ironically about ‘post-rock’. Prog-rock is staging a come back. This five track EP, the second for Wellington’s Alabaster Theatre, will appeal to anyone remotely interested in any of the big name alternative acts and more interesting rock of the past decade.

The opening instrumental, ‘The Reign of the Oak’, ebbs and flows gently over the course of nearly six minutes, but holds one’s attention throughout, being slightly reminiscent of Jakob or Chicago’s Pelican. First song ‘proper’ ‘You Boys Are Out of Town’ opens with a surging bass-line Muse-style and explodes with some muscular drumming courtesy of Brad Gallen. The bridge is pretty nifty too. ‘The Final Tango’ is a fun

song, with all the exotic flavour its title implies and a danceable tambourine punctuated beat. From there on, a very System of a Down-esque flavour seems to shine through, with singer Lester Litchfield’s melodies coming across very similar to their guitarist/songwriter Daron Malakian. They have the same high-pitched idiosyncratic wail, which may be an acquired taste for some.

Though lengthy, ‘Octopus Rising’ fails to end the EP on a satisfying climax, offering a slightly meandering end to this CD. I personally found the cracking vocals on the chorus of penultimate cut ‘The Sultan’ more rousing, but this EP manages not to dip into any truly mediocre territory. With a range of styles on offer, it will interesting to see where the band develops in the future – they’ve proved themselves

capable and imaginative musicians. I look forward to hopefully a full length in the future.

Alabaster Theatre will be playing at Indigo on the 2nd of May and the Mount St. Bar and Café on the 4th. To grab a copy of the EP head along to a gig or contact the band directly.


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