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Floorian – At Your Surface (Drigh)

Floorian - At Your Surface
16 February 2017

Although I lived in Columbus, OH from 1998-2000 while attending graduate school there, I did not learn of this 1997-formed, 20-year-old Columbus collective until their 2009 second LP More Fiend. In my issue 64 review, I described More as “ominous, trance-inducing space-rock, with hints of metal, psychedelic, and Eastern influences.” That could similarly sum up their 2012 third album Cosmosaic, and this new six-song, 43-minute fourth. Yet while their leisurely, lurching music might seem static and steadfast in style and structure, Floorian are no lazy, laurel-resting luddites. They’re continually broadening the boundaries of their fastidious framework, while sharpening and shaping their sound, so each LP feels fresh and forward-looking. Though their Facebook page bills them as a quintet, each of the compositions on At Your are comprised of anywhere from three to seven players, with the band’s two founders and songwriters, guitarist Todd Fisher and bassist/keyboardist/vocalist John Godshalk, serving as the main constants.

The portentous, prog-inspired “From on High” is given mass and menace by Fisher’s and Bill Spiropolous’s fulminating, feedback-drenched guitars, Larry Durica’s tough, thudding drums, and Godshalk’s shadowy, sedated vocals. The similarly sinister, shoegaze-scented “Spinning Time” finds Fisher’s chords more caressing and cleansing, sharply contrasting with Godshalk’s scraping, serrated bass and shivery, spectral singing. Elsewhere, two drawn-out, deliberately developing dirges find the dexterous group aggregating an array of disparate sounds. Clocking in at nine minutes, the icy, ill-boding “Icaro” (named for a sung or whistled ceremonial or medicine song, common in South America) integrates pulsating keyboard tones and pattering percussion with the chilling chants of Tabitha Weyandt and hypnotic Hindustani hymns of Utpola Borah, while the enveloping 14-minute closer “Agra Man” is entangled with Middle Eastern and Indian embellishments, like Fisher’s droning electronic tanpura and Hans Utter’s oud, sitars, and tablas. Evoking The Doors’ “The End,” “Agra” escalates to an explosive, electrifying finale, clinching the LP as another mesmerizing, mind-expanding listen. (