• Mark Dawusk
  • Pelican

The instrumental rock of Pelican's Forever Becoming can greatly assist when you need to get some aggression out. It's got that float-out-into-the-sky-and-destroy-shit feel. Forever Becoming (out this past October on Southern Lord) is the Chicago-based foursome's first album in four years. They've got a new guitarist, Dallas Thomas, and they're sounding a bit more metal. Processions in the songs churn and plod with rabid, gamy weight, then riffs shift to cleaner channels and the load lifts off the ground. Earth and sky volley back and forth as quiet falls to noise. "Immutable Dusk" hauls mortar uphill, hooks it onto balloons, and then drops it into a dunk tank of black powder and strike-anywhere matches. Pelican guitarist Trevor Shelley de Brauw spoke from Los Angeles, where he was staring out a window at a gray sky. I had just listened to the album, and I read to him the following description: I'm a wrecking ball the size of a stadium, and I'm knocking over Walmarts and Starbucks and banks. It's total destruction, but the shape of the wreckage forms the image of a tranquil mountain lake. If you look at it from a distance, the piles of rubble and wreckage fall perfectly this way. There's a big elk in the image, and its antlers are fucking amazing. Nature wins out over the greed.

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