“After almost four years, post-rock sextet Apricot Rail have put twelve more tracks to record. Fronted by Ambrose Nock, Rail’s eponymous debut back in 2008 hurled like a bolt into an explosion of acclaim; the afterglow of which gradually dimmed into an Apricot Rail pressure phosphene of support gigs and occasional recurrences on the Perth live circuit. But in the right-here-right-now, Quarrels is a stunning record; it is Rail’s abrupt and brilliant re-entry into the id of contemporary alternative music.
The album is largely instrumental, and breaking it down commits a fundamental error in prying Mayuka Juber’s woodwind from Jack Quirk’s glockenspiel and the unifying fabric of Nock’s guitar. Quarrel’s first single Surry Hills provides solid ground for an introduction to the record: although superficially indistinct from the album with its cascading arpeggio (a guitar with reverb perhaps, although digital production makes it all a guess), operating as part of a larger whole its place becomes clear. Ibis Snowstorm is concise but immaculate, at only 2:36, it’s a shorter track, but with the precision and subtlety of a mosquito-bite. Third Ballroom counterpoints Ibis, resulting in a rural, melancholic grandeur. Eked is gossamer and sparse as a paddock at 5am, Dore Strach is a spiralling, whirling conclusion.
Etherial and compelling are not adjectives applied to this record with the intention they’ll be bubble-wrapped alongside a styrofoam press release for Yet Another Up And Coming Band That Actually Isn’t: Quarrels envelopes the listener like a rain curtain, with Rail’s six individual parts contracting into a tourniquet with exactly the kind of apparent, balmy temperance that actually masks rigid and almost brilliant perfectionism. Simply and quietly, this is an incredible album.”