15 Degrees Below Zero - Open Doors [Oxidation Records - 2021]
15 Degrees Below Zero are a San Francisco three-piece who blend 'n' blur moody guitar/ bass tones, with electronics & atmospheric noise scaping. They create an often dense and dramatic sound, which takes in elements ambience, post-rock, electro noise rock and cinematic mood setting. Open Doors is the band's fifth full-length album, and I must say it’s both varied and rewarding in its nine-track span.
The release appears in the form of a CD on Illinois based Oxidation Records- with the disc been presented in a basic grey four-panel digipak. This features on its front a line drawing of a hand with a light in its palm and basic white texts against a plain grey background- so simply if effective enough bit of packaging.
15 Degrees Below Zero have seemingly been active since 2000- bringing together the following Daniel Blomquist, Mark Wilson and Michael Addison. Alongside their four other full-lengths, the band have five EP’s and singles. I’m sure I vaguely recall the band’s name from a few years, but this is material I’ve heard from them- and I must say I was impressed by what I heard, as the project has quite a distinctive and often memorable/ moody melody lined sound.
The nine tracks here have run times between three and eight minutes- with each track nicely setting its moody/ vibe, yet never overstaying its welcome. We open with “Horizon, Skyline”- here we find a blend of slowly simmering ‘n’ droning harmonic synth ambience, dense churning ‘n’ hacking guitar scaping, and low-key noise atmos. As we move on we come to the title track- here we find locked and bright vibe tones, mixed with tolling electro discord, and building noised out post electro- rock denseness. There’s the spiralling ‘n’ chiming indie ambient guitar tone, meets reverbed feedback strikes and choppy electro texturing of “The Red Sea”. Or the set bowed bass throb ‘n’ bob meets moody/ tense electro texturing of “Fordandia…Mostly”.
If you like atmospheric instrumental music that falls between the gaps of electro texturing, post-rock, and moody-low key noise matter- you’ll be wanting to check out15 degrees Below Zero and their firth album Open Doors. I can certainly see myself return to this album down the line again- as there’s such a memorable and moody sound here- that is most difficult to genre bracket. To pick up a copy of this head just here.Roger Batty