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And So I Watch You From Afar - Endless Shimmering album review

Happy‑go‑lucky Northern Irish rockers keep up form

Life just feels that bit better when And So I Watch You From Afar are in it. Over the years the Belfast instrumentalists have become masters of juggling adroit technicality, serious groove and potent party vibes, with their music both magnificently math yet merrily major‑key. The Endless Shimmering is album number five – keeping up their release‑every two‑years hot streak – and it feels like a coming of age for the quartet, with each of the nine songs contributing something vital, just like all great records. Take Terrors Of Pleasure, which sees its riffs and guitar leads slither and wriggle, while thundering closer Chrysalism is a rousing rally through jagged motifs that still, somehow, manage to hook. And So I Watch You From Afar’s true allure is when they grab the listener by the throat and launch them on a journey, which isn’t easily done when there are no vocals to guide the way. The magnum opus here is the seven‑and‑a‑half‑minute whiteknuckler Dying Giants, which conjoins a crushing post‑rock aura with a sense of impending doom before dissolving into a heart‑tugging, string‑laden outro fit for the grandest of grand epics. Keep ’em coming, lads, keep ‘em coming.