Wednesday 24 January 2018

Erai - S/T LP

Labels: Lifeisafunnything
Formats: LP/Digital
Release Date: 23rd Nov 2017


1. Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants
2. And I Took My Time
3. Mirror
4. Karen
5. Memorial
6. Sanguine, Sinking In

This is another late release from last year that I'm catching up on. Erai is an emo/post-hardcore band from Berlin, Germany. I think this self-titled LP is their debut. I was released by fellow German label Lifeisafunnything in November just gone. They're lucky enough to be playing the 5th edition of We Built The World And Miss The Stars Fest in May alongside a load of great bands, including Birds In Row, Shizune and Cavalcades amongst (many) others. Erai was founded in May 2016.

Despite sharing it’s name with an Oasis album, Erai’s opener Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants is far more interesting than the Manchester Britpop band’s music (bold statement I know!). There are cleanly shouted vocals (that remind me a little of “Bright Flashes” era Snapcase), loud drums and riffs that match with both volume and melody. At times Erai venture into emoviolence-like territory but they never quite explode enough, which is fine. And I Took My Time begins in gentler fashion. Feedback punctuates the lone guitar melody before the full band kicks in with a mix of punk-like time-signatures and driving post-hardcore. The song is really straightforward in its make-up and even after the introspective spoken-word mid-section, there’s a simplicity that flows through it. Musically it’s really really good. What Erai moves onto next is very different. The seven+ minute Mirror is filled with unnerving feedback for the first ninety-seconds. It dies down as the drums and bass provide a minimal and repeated backdrop for what’s to come. The soaring clean vocals that sit atop of the instrumentation are both powerful and uplifting. In fact the whole song is like that. Cinematic but not pretentious with huge swathes of sound from all directions. 

The further you get into this LP, the more you realise that Erai are a golden band. One that pay homage to the sub-genres trailblazers and manages to recreate the feeling that those bands gave you. Karen is a perfect example of what can be done when you don’t try to reinvent the wheel, while also not aping your influences. I’ve not heard post-hardcore played this well for a very long time. They allow their urgency to spill out on Memorial, which has more of a garage-punk feel to it with plenty of raw emotion. The closing song on Erai’s self-titled record is another long player. Sanguine, Sinking In begins slowly and with a feeling of beautiful loneliness. One thing’s for sure, they know how to build and maintain suspense. They weave and layer textures like cymbals, subtle bass, jangly guitars and audible shouts before the song reaches a crescendo at seven-and-a-half minutes and gather momentum with more cinematic post-hardcore. It’s brilliant and it underlines just how strong this record is. Erai is another excellent German band, alongside Duct Hearts. You’ll feel so energised after listening to this.

You can "Erai" and buy it digitally and on vinyl below:-

Erai -

You can also buy it from Lifeisafunnything here -

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