Half Film: East of Monument / Road to the Crater

[8 March 2013]

By Steven Spoerl

Half Film's first two LPs get paired together in this necessary re-release.

Slowcore is a term that gets misappropriated, a genre that’s tough to identify, and presents a sound that’s incredibly hard to do well. Yet, every once in a while there comes a band like Low, who achieve the genre’s promise. The same can be said of the nearly forgotten Half Film. In 1998 they released the stark East of Monument, which was generally categorized alongside the first wave of emo bands (Sunny Day Real Estate, Weezer, etc.) due to its nuanced aggression, instrument tones and personal lyrics.

While they definitely shared several key qualities with the artists spearheading that movement, there was something running a little bit deeper in Half Film. They exploited this to its fullest on their outstanding follow-up, 2000’s Road to the Crater. On that record, the band experimented with production, slowed down their pacing even further, and occupied a space entirely their own.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/168098-half-film-east-of-monument-and-road-to-the-crater/