Well, I say “new”. Pillars was launched in early July, and I was at the spectacular launch event at the Ironworks to see a great gig and pick up my copy of the album (the first physical music format I’ve bought for as long as I can remember).
It’s only now, though, that we have our internet up and running in our new house that I’ve been able to upload some photos from the night, and figured I’d save the album review for now too.
Pillars has been a long time coming: Shutter have been around for years, and it’s a shame in one sense that the band have taken so long to release an album. But on the other hand, the band have demonstrated staying power, clearly proving their durability and popularity (not just locally), and there’s no danger of them being a “flash in the pan” outfit. Pillars, in that sense, is not really the start, but the continuation for this post-rock foursome from Inverness.
And why shouldn’t a band take its time in releasing a band? Do they release something on demand that may not be up to scratch? I’m glad that instead they’ve released it only – excuse the Grolschism – when it’s ready. They’ve got some great people involved in making it too, apparently, including production bods who have worked with Mogwai.
The launch, then, was an exciting event because of the sense of anticipation, and the hundred or so folk in the venue seemed a greater number because of the stage that had been set up in the middle of the floor, making for a surround picture as well as an all-encompassing sound. Shutter were loud, powerful and gripping.
And the album, of course lacking a certain rawness you get live, is terrific. With Lost Transmission and Pillars of Creation providing a great opening, the layers of guitars, bass and drums continue in a vibrant mood, with New Starts standing out as a particularly energetic number. It precedes Sedona, for me the stand-out track on the album, a catchy mix of rough, explosive loudness and almost sinister quiet spots.
The album doesn’t tail off, though, and while I can’t help feeling that one or two tracks left you wanting more and could have (in true post-rock tradition) been somewhat longer, the finale Sulaco – which featured on their earlier EP – is a fine conclusion to an outstanding album. Pillars flows together brilliantly, and I’ve been listening to it a great deal since the launch.
Fingers crossed “Pillars” is the springboard that makes Shutter more widely known.