Published Aug 16, 2017Cloakroom are a three-piece shoegaze band from an area of Northwest Indiana known as "The Region." Positioned between the metro Chicago area and the state's larger agrarian expanse, it's comprised of a particular blend of urban, industrial and rural geographies that only locals could truly understand, let alone explain.
This provenance has featured heavily in the band's rather opaque biographies, but a more illuminating detail about them would perhaps be their recent cover of "Steve Albini's Blues," penned by Jason Molina of neighbouring Ohio. While Cloakroom's signing to metal label Relapse makes some sense given their murky textures and predilection for low frequencies, their sprawling compositions capture something of the late folk singer's forlorn reflections of a slowly atrophying "Americana." Time Well's second single, "The Sun Won't Let Us Go," for example, builds on a downtempo foundation of acoustic guitar and reverberating leads. It ultimately circumvents the band's typical wall of sound to present something more restrained and delicate.
On "Sickle Moon Blues," a raucous and noisy swoon is complemented by country-esque guitar intervals that should feel out of place next to the song's bottom-heavy rhythmic thrust but don't. The following track, "Hymnal," actually manages to feel far longer than its three and a half minutes, moving with a slow-motion reverence that is strangely captivating.
Cloakroom sound like three people who have spent a significant amount of time holed up in a studio together, cultivating their own secret musical language. They play a morose Pig Latin that is presented like a cryptic auditory drama, refusing to offer subtitles or interpretations. It takes repeated, cyclical listens and the committed exploration of individual tracks to really become familiar with how their songs work. (Relapse)