PREMIERE: Of the Vine – “In Event of Moon Disaster”

Of the Vine

Post-rockers Of the Vine have been kicking around the Atlanta and Athens scenes for nearly a decade now, but so far their recorded output has been fairly meager. In 2010 they released what has so far been their defining statement, a self-titled five-song EP that made my list for best local records that year. Since then, however, it’s been quiet. A collection of B-sides and alternate takes surfaced in 2012, but the band has offered nothing in terms of new music in years. You can blame some of that on lineup changes, which has made the process of completing and recording new material difficult. But according to guitarist Samuel Laubscher, another reason for the delay involves the way the band as a whole approaches the songwriting process. “We are all laid-back,” he explains, “so we never feel the rush to finish anything before it feels right. I think generally we wait for the muse to visit us, which is probably a good and bad thing.”

With a new album tentatively scheduled for January 2015, it certainly appears the muse has been busy. Laubscher says the record is nearly complete, but that they want to take their time and promote it properly. Musically, he promises the new songs will be “a lot more atmospheric and bit noisier” than what they’ve put out in the past. “There are no samples or piano,” he reveals. “We decided we wanted to be able to play all the songs live as you’ll hear them on the album at any venue while also making it easier for the performances to be a more cathartic experience for us (and hopefully those listening) as we don’t have to worry about extraneous instruments [or] rely on computers.

As for lead single “In Event of Moon Disaster,” which we’re excited to premiere for you today, it will be interesting to see how far this will go in laying out the groundwork for the band’s updated aesthetic. Without doubt, there’s a lot to be found here that’s reminiscent of what made their last EP so great—the pacing remains patient and stately, the guitars still glimmer and sparkle like winter frost spread across a pane of glass. And yet it’s the differences that offer the greater promise.

So much of post-rock is about tension and deliverance, the scaling of the proverbial mountain in order to witness the majesty revealed at the summit. But unlike Of the Vine’s earlier work, this track just builds. Every passage leans heavily into the next, and each thrusting chord is a search for balance and momentum against the approaching gale of shoegaze guitars that finally strikes midway through the song. At every moment there’s brooding anxiety and the expectation of release, but that release never arrives. Instead, it’s a steady climb into the mouth and heart of a storm. There’s beauty here, to be sure, but it’s the band’s thunderous pull that resonates the longest. Listen below.

“In Event of Moon Disaster” is available as a limited-edition, hand silk-screened CD or as a name your price download via Bandcamp.

Of the Vine will perform on Saturday, September 27th at 149 Tracy Street in Athens. Joining them will be Paper Lights and On Til Morning. Doors open at 8 p.m. Admission is $4. BYOB.

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