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Stearica: Fertile

Italian post-rock experimentalists offer a ‘grower’ of a second album.

Seeking instant, cuddly gratification? This isn’t it. Pass, move on.

For those otherwise inclined, and ready to reap the fantastic satisfaction of a couple of listens, we have cool, contemporary sounds for you. Fertile, the latest effort from hip Italian outfit Stearica, is neither cuddly nor instant. But then the joy of great post-rock has almost never been in its easy-access immediacy, and this feverish work is no different. Fertile is an apt name, given the burgeoning plethora of elements here. Suggestive of God Is An Astronaut in its more blissful elements – if that band were wired on Red Bull – this is crammed with surging post-rock guitars and clever time signatures. Tigris is a strange, disjointed piece on first listen, but becomes a compellingly alternative delight after two or three spins. The ominous electronica and Nur’s powerful rumbling bass have a frantic, cinematic impact, and you can hear Four Tet in the beats of Siqlum, which swells into an epic, beautifully chaotic work. It all calls to mind the otherworldly vibe generated by Nordic Giants, albeit in a less ethereal manner, and still manages to actually ‘rock’, even having hurtled through several galaxies and back.

Polly is Features Editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage) and writes a few things. She also writes for Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer, and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.