Personnel: Matt Talbot (vocals, guitar).
Recording information: Earth Analog, Tolono, Illinois (12/2013-02/2014).
Photographer: Alison Scarpulla.
Indiana-based trio Cloakroom have described their sound as "stoner emo," making note of their equal love of sludgy, looming walls of guitar; mumbling, sad-hearted vocals; and yearning, melodic chord changes. Their second album, Further Out, finds them honing the rough ideas that were forming on their 2013 debut, Infinity. Slow plodding rhythms and walls of wailing, feedback-friendly guitars call to mind the sleepy-eyed slowcore bands of the '90s like Codeine and Come, while in their more melodic moments Cloakroom sound more in line with the polished melancholic grunge pop of more well-known acts like Hum and Smashing Pumpkins. Vocalist Doyle Martin's low-mixed, drawn-out vocals sound like a more buried version of Red House Painters' Mark Kozelek, especially when they branch out into stringy harmonies on songs like "Moon Funeral." Melding explosive guitar tones with dreamlike, syrupy songwriting results in an album of dense, textural rock that's soothing without becoming overly thoughtful or boring. Highlights are many, including the hook-heavy slowness of "Lossed Over" and the drifting shoegaze tones of "Asymmetrical." ~ Fred Thomas