I’m sure there are many words German post-rockers Long Distance Calling would hope to have their album described as, ‘pleasant’, I imagine was not one of them. Yet that is the best word to describe Boundless.
It in no way challenges the boundaries of musical achievement. It just trundles along at a steady, if unremarkable pace, never really gathering enough momentum to help push it up to anything beyond middle of the road.
That’s not to say it is bad. Post-rock is a genre that is not easy to pull of well, and while Long Distance Calling, 12 years into their career, could be considered veterans of the scene by now, it is easy to see why they have not elevated themselves to the heights of others from within the genre.
For those unfamiliar with the genre, post-rock requires a rather unique balance of atmosphere, instrumental led narratives and an almost bleak tranquillity to truly elevate itself above the more conventional genres. Fellow genre mates Paint the Sky Red and We Lost the Sea are perfect examples of what happens when that balance is blended perfectly to create something that truly makes you listen intently.
Long Distance Calling unfortunately, are missing that certain element that something that really makes Boundless stand out. It is a well produced release that musically is well thought out and does have its strong points, closing track ‘Skydivers’, for instance ebbs and flows well, almost as a story should and with moments of beauty and aggression that do exceed expectations.
It is an effortless listen, engaging enough that you are happy to give it your attention for the full 50 minute runtime, but beyond that, it is as mentioned, just a pleasant listen. I enjoyed it, but it left no lasting impression. The memory of each track fading almost as quickly as it started, and so there is little tangibility that sets this apart from myriad of others.