If — as some have claimed — the album is a dying medium, as attention spans continue to wane then concept albums by their very nature could be the first to go. But Denver post-rockers Rumble Young Man Rumble are approaching their new instrumental saga by taking what would be one long concept piece and breaking it up into three easily digestible parts.
The band plans to release three EPs this summer, each as their own chapter, and then they will combine all three into one and release it as a full album. Those breaks allow listeners to go fully down the rabbit hole with each “movement” in the series, allowing each section to have its own space to breathe.
As post-rockers, it’s all about having space to breathe, after all — or maybe not, when the theme of the greater work is taken into consideration. The first epoch of the overall Absolute collection is Transmission, which sets the stage for the rest of the chronicle. The fable, as it goes, tells the story of humanity as a virus, an epidemic. While the future chapters of Absolute, Desolate and Rebirth reveal the whole dark side of the story, Transmission eases listeners into the tale with the ominous, foreboding track “Wolf In The Ark.” Following in the footsteps of their post-rock predecessors Explosions In The Sky and Mogwai, Rumble Young Man Rumble explores expansive sounds, seamlessly blending their effects pedals’ other-worldly tone, along with conventional guitar and bass sounds to create huge soundscapes. Ranging from mellow and melodic, to distorted and chunky, the band’s music incorporates boundary-pushing song structures, odd time signatures, and ambient breakdowns.
Following “Wolf In The Ark,” the title track, “Transmission,” begins to unveil the dark undertones of the theme, and the following tracks “The Way It Has to Be” and “Nothing is Without Poison” delve even further into the story. The final song “The Host,” serves as the bridge to the next installment. Spoiler alert: The saga ends with Rebirth and the track “To Dust We Shall Return.”
Heavy melodies, crushing riffs and big muffed-out distorted guitars are used as brushes and hues on Transmission to paint the scene and lay the groundwork for the parts of the series yet to come. And their dedication to breaking the story apart into manageable bites shows Rumble Young Man Rumble’s intelligence and couples it with a bit of panache and showmanship that could keep this concept album very much alive.