Trapped in a cavern, it’s pitch black and the air is getting harder and harder to breathe. Disoriented, hands follow the walls to find what could be the ceiling, fingers digging into the rock to find something– anything– loose to help point toward a direction out. Suddenly, a rock frees itself and after clearing away some dirt, a pin of blinding light shines through the enveloping darkness. Clearing away soil and rock with more and more vigor, hope and salvation is just a short way from here.
This is PG.LOST’s Oscillate– the band’s latest LP packed to the gills with pure drama and catharsis. Their fifth overall and first effort since 2016’s much lauded Versus, Oscillate leans on an instrumental approach and while their keen understanding of tension/release may warrant comparison to the likes of MONO, Explosions in the Sky and Godspeed You! Black Emperor, PG.LOST is unafraid to move into exciting new directions. With influences that range from the emotional heft of Big Thief to the inventive spirit of krautrock to the brutality of Neurosis to the dark experimentalism of COIL, these heavier elements intertwine and open up into wide-eyed expansiveness of Fennesz or Tim Hecker, revealing a beauty shimmering underneath and a range of depth rarely found in today’s over-compressed and spit-shined version of “modern music.”