Pelican - Pelican (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Pelican (2003)

Hydra Head

Hydra Head, the label that's give us releases from the likes of Discordance Axis, Cave In, and Harkonen now brings us this EP from Chicago's Pelican. Pelican is an instrumental act that thrives on repetition, using it to build an atmosphere.

The way I look at it, being an instrumental band has both it's freedoms and it's drawbacks. You have the freedom to write songs without worrying about how the vocals are going to fit into the mix. However, instrumental bands also face a challenge, since many times the vocals are what make music so memorable. Pelican's use of repetition really does the trick, in terms of making these songs memorable and catchy. The music here varies from distorted rock sounding riffs, to grinding, almost doom metal passages. There is technicality here, but it doesn't immediately jump out at you. So as you listen and try to pick out the subtleties of these songs, the music completely encompasses you. Pelican's talent lies within their ability to capture the listeners attention for long periods of time. I must admit, when I set out to listen to this band for the first time, the thought of an almost 13 minute instrumental song made me groan. But with their ability to reduce the listener to nearly a trance-like state, Pelican made good use of every last second.

If you're a fan of bands like Godflesh, Neurosis, Lungfish, or Mastodon you might want to give this band a shot. The people at Hydra Head seem to be really high on this band, and now I know why.