Abronia Album Release Show Review
Written by Nedtilbrook Tilbrook on November 20, 2019
On Tuesday night, local band Abronia celebrated the release of their second album, The Whole of Each Eye, at Mississippi Studios with support from Sea Moss and Void Realm. Sea Moss started proceedings with an energetic set in which drums, pedals, effects, and an unusual mic set-up combined to create an engaging up-tempo sound that had the already large crowd excited. Next were Void Realm. Backed by a series of projections, mostly of unfolding natural disasters, their dark soundscapes were quick to draw you in, creating a heavy, dark sense of atmosphere out of thin air. The four piece set the stage perfectly for the main event.
Abronia are a six-piece outfit featuring two guitars, bass, pedal steel, saxophone, and, of course, The Big Drum. When I spoke to Eric, who plays guitar, on Real Soon in Rose City last Friday, he told me about his (literal) vision for the band: whilst backpacking through canyon country in south-east Utah a few years ago, he had a vision of a band that didn’t yet exist. He saw what would become Abronia on stage: ‘I saw a big drum with amps behind. I just woke up one morning seeing it, it wasn’t totally clear but it was clear the drum was at the middle of it.’
Over the next few years Eric and some friends started making his vision a reality. The Band’s debut album Obsidian Visions/Shadowed Lands was released in 2017 on Water Wing Records. The album sets out the band’s stall: stunning soundscapes, some entirely instrumental, with that all-important big drum at the core whilst psychedelic strings soar around it with the saxophone completing the picture. The Whole of Each Eye (Feeding Tube/Cardinal Fuzz)sees the band further develop their vision: each instrument works blends with the others perfectly, but demands your attention at different times. Abronia’s sound gives you the feeling of walking through an ever-changing landscape where different aspects of the scenery draw you in at different times. Their music is hard to classify, but certainly they’ll be worth checking out for any fans of instrumental post-rock such as Godspeed You Black Emperor.
When Abronia’s set began, the sound of that big drum filled the room. Soon, it was surrounded by other instruments, the vision of the band on-stage once again a reality. Half Hail, a song from the new album made it feel like the whole room was being put into a trance by the enticing music. Soon, the band had covered most of the new album including instant classics such as Cross the Hill, as well as delighting the crowd with some new songs, suggesting there is much more to come from this excellent local outfit.
If you’d like to catch Abronia soon they’ll be playing KPSU’s end-of-term holiday show alongside Soft Butch and Havania Whall. It’ll take place 7-9pm in Smith Student Union (1825 SW Broadway) Room 101; it is free, all ages and open to the public.