Open‘s sophomore follow up to Chasing Returns couldn’t have come at a better time for me, as I pack my carry-on luggage for the charmingly miserable weather of my homeland New Zealand. In Breathtaking Views, the album currently invading my earphones, the young Kiwi four piece continue their legacy of synthesizing new energy from old weapons.
Breathtaking Views is essentially a pastiche of classic math rock, post rock, shoegaze, post punk and emo motifs. At times the combination of clean melodies, stripped back vocals and low-key emo sensibility gives the album an Owls like demeanour. At other times it conjures up a pathos typical of math-leaning post rock like Ativin, Slint and Sharks Keeping Moving.
Whether they intended it to or not, Open have reopened the past. In Breathtaking Views, the band ignore all the virtuosity, lavish effects and other contemporary math rock tropes; and instead forge a sound that is stripped back, minimalist and bona fide.