The build-up is a well-worn staple of post-rock: transporting the listener from a place of quiet and calm to somewhere crashing and ecstatic. Because the trick is nowhere near new—especially for a long-running act like Russian Circles—it must be executed with mastery and creativity in order to be anywhere near effective. “Mota,” the second single from Russian Circles’ upcoming album Guidance, shows the trio is more than up for the challenge, as each member attacks their instrument with an aggression that sounds both virtuosic and demonically possessed.
Dave Turncrantz’s swift, melodic drumming and Brian Cook’s distorted bass merge into a rhythm section with the dynamics and power of a band twice their size. Mike Sullivan’s layers of guitars, meanwhile, are dazzling, recalling both the staccato plucking of a string orchestra and the droning buzz of heavy machinery. When its inevitably massive climax arrives, after a tense midsection that sounds like a drill stripping away the head of a screw, it is with the subtle revelation of your plane taking off just as the drugs are kicking in. It’s less a question of “How did we get here?” and more, “How can I stay forever?”