Afro-Cuban Post-Rock group The Battle of Santiago’s record Full Colour showcases the group as cohesive, consistent and brilliantly lively. Consisting of 12 instrumental tracks, the album proves vocals are never necessary for atmosphere. The band of 7 features saxophone, flute, bass, bongos & other uncanny instruments, lending Full Colour diverse timbres.
While the album focuses predominantly on rhythms, occasional melodies brighten up Full Colour’s mood. Standout track Conversations begins with fast drums beats, quickly complimented by a slow, moody saxophone melody. Flutes serve to harmonize, and the song plateaus with an energetic and vibrant final two minutes.
The Afro-Cuban Post-Rock group (a genre name they undoubtedly dubbed themselves) hit their stride when combining rhythms and melodies. One without the other leaves to be desired, as if the songs are incomplete. When each compliments one another, however, The Battle of Santiago succeed in instrumental heaven: tracks that stand alone, creating an atmosphere based on improvisation and creativity. Fourth track Palo de Rosa does exactly this, and excels. Warm bongo rhythms provide a backbone for saxophone and flute melodies, before a bright guitar lines enter the mix, bringing The Battle of Santiago in unfamiliar, yet auspicious territory.
Full Colour is completely instrumental, yet lacks nothing; its polyrhythmic bongo patterns set the stage for seemingly improvised flute and saxophone melodies, while warm bass tones brighten up the mix’s lower end. It flourishes in combining oft-unheard beats with melodies in uncanny timbres. If you’re looking for something different this summer, give The Battle of Santiago some of your time.