Aquarius Releases New Record Equinox EP 

Although there are moments in which it competes with the keys for the lion’s share of our affections, there is scarcely a moment in which the string section in Aquarius’ new record Equinox isn’t controlling both the tempo and the tone of the material. “Coming Home” is probably the best example of the guitar’s role in this EP being that literally every inch of sonic space is filled by its tonal presence, surrounding the percussion and the synthetic elements like a warm blanket in the dead of winter. Whether larger than life or minimalistic intentionally, the strings are the bread and butter of this band’s story, and they’re providing us with the foundations for what could be the best indie rock extended play I’ve heard all fall here. 

The percussion isn’t to be considered an afterthought in this record at all; on the contrary, I love the way the beat is shaped inherently by the rhythm of the string play, so long as it leads us into the anti-cathartic climaxes of “God” and “Gone Away.” There’s a lot of talk among critics and fans around the world about how hard it is to make a dark melody without giving lyrics over to the darkness from which the instrumentation is drawn together, but if there’s one band I’ve listened to lately that knows how to pull this combination off without a hitch, it’s Aquarius. They’re indeed an experimental outfit, but they sound quite confident in their every move in Equinox

Much like the bottom-end componentry in this record, the vocals aren’t on the backburner either but instead made to be equal with the push of the band (which is no easy feat if we’re getting down to the black and white details of this group’s aesthetics). “Enemies I Called My Brothers” pits pipes against percussive chaos and booming guitar play that could drown out just about anything in another, less than erudite set of circumstances, but in this scenario, it gels with the other instrumental parts all too perfectly. This is a band that cares about the minute details a lot of other players just as soon leave on the sidelines when trying to craft something original, and their ethics in the studio are going to bring them a lot of love in the streets this year. 

Atmospheric, surreal, inviting, and perhaps only a taste of what they can do when there aren’t any restrictions coming before their intended design and what the recording space will allow for, Aquarius’ Equinox is one of the more interesting extended plays I’ve listened to of its kind this season. There’s a lot of depth to the songcraft in play here, and yet none of the arrogance that would normally accompany a release made from such grand ambitions, and if Aquarius is able to repeat the feat with a full-length studio album, I highly doubt they’ll get anything but massive support from the critics, fans, and contemporaries they’re currently impressing with this one of a kind EP. 

by Jennifer Munoz

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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