Portland instrumental rockers Grails’ Deep Politics is saturated in the brooding and dark atmospheric sounds of movie music, tapping in to the vividness evoked by 1970s Italian film scores.
However, while it is interesting to conjure this up with added elements of ambient rock, doom metal and Irish folk, it can seem a bit cluttered and uncoordinated. The mix of doom and sorrowful longing doesn’t seem to mesh as well as it did on 2008’s Doomsday Holiday. In comparison, Deep Politics seems to lose its energy because it seems so intensely planned and executed, creating a rigidness that in turn is awkward and slightly dull. The sweeping expanse of “Almost Grew My Hair” is varied in influences from folk guitar to forlorn ballads to atmospheric noise, but it doesn’t always makes sense. Just because something can be done, does not mean it should. Although film scores, at points, also have a waywardness about them, they ultimately have the actual film to provide context. Without that, Deep Politics, seems like a story with no content.