After a four-year absence, Apricot Rail have returned with Quarrels, a satisfying second effort.
Apricot Rail peddled in a restrained take on the instrumental post-rock aesthetic, opting for the beauty over the chaos. Quarrels makes this abundantly clear. Unfortunately, eliminating the staggering crescendos that have become the signpost of the genre's most successful bands means sacrificing a great deal of tension. While opening track "Basket Press" does ultimately come to a fever pitch in its closing moments, it's one of the only truly thrilling moments on Quarrels. While the rest of the record isn't weak, it isn't strikingly original either. There are unavoidably evident shades of Eluvium, Sigur Ros and Explosions in the Sky that simply can't match the moments they're reminiscent of. On the whole, Quarrels is a pleasant, if occasionally frustrating, listening experience. The frustration comes in because there are flashes of absolute brilliance and it's quite clear the band can do more. It's worth waiting for that to happen.