It seems to take forever for the first few chords of this album to arrive, as if the two overlapping guitars—alternately jangley and spacey, fading in and out—are traveling from miles away to find traction in the opening track. And in a sense they are—Lebanon is a mostly instrumental power-math quartet from Tel Aviv, Israel, making their American debut with Planet Rubble
As far as welcomes go, this album is quite an impressive greeting. Once that opener, “Finland,” finds its footing, it rises in epic crescendos, deftly pivots to complex chord progressions and settles into dense atmospheric soundscapes, all in the course of five minutes. The rest of the album follows suit with 10 wildly wandering post-rock tracks.
The songs hinge on the creative dexterity of dual guitarists Juval Haring and Avinoam Sternheim, but unlike most instrumental efforts Planet Rubble
doesn’t get lost in droning showmanship. It conveys a definite meaning and tone. If the band’s background and album title weren’t clear enough hints, this is predominantly an angry and despondent take on their homeland (Sternheim’s art in the liner notes is a vivid tell, as well). It’s a heavy commentary, but one well worth hearing.
Lebanon plays the Palace Lounge Monday, Sept. 24, at 9 PM. Cover TBA.