Twelve Hundred Times, the third studio album from Melbourne five-piece Laura is quite the masterpiece. Focusing on the instrumental aspect of the post-rock genre, Laura manages to infuse more emotion and feeling in their songs than many of their vocal counterparts. Approaching this project with a ‘Cutting The Fat’ mantra, as described by frontman Andrew Yardley, the band managed to record a product that surpasses expectation, both instrumentally and sentimentally.
Opening the album is Visitor. With its disarming progressions, Visitor gradually builds to an ominous climax. A very fitting intro to the album as fans are easily drawn in to Laura’s sound. Gently coaxing you in with their ambient swells and atmospheric scales, it takes a couple of tracks for Laura’s fangs to show and by Gravity Hill, the statically-charged ‘slide into insanity’ track, they clamp down with monumental force. By the time Mark The Day kicks in, you are already trapped, paralyzed by the intensity of the minimalism. The creeping cello and unrelenting drums meet the soothing yet complicated vocals perfectly, inducing an almost euphoric state in the listener.
As the album progresses, the mood gets darker and the spiral continues. Following the eerily beautiful, somewhat of an intermission track Fugue State, The Slow furthers the journey of the album. Maintaining the same themes as previous tracks, there is an overall complexity and diversity between each track – a mark missed by many similar artists. The Slow is my favourite on the album, so subtle in its incline that by the time the climax hits, you don’t even realise that all you can feel is goosebumps.
As the album comes to its finale, end tracks Safe Confinement and New Safe Confinement demonstrate the true class of Laura, passionately and elegantly fading out their hard work. What’s noteworthy about this album is the immediate sense of the deliberate, each note has a job to do and has been placed accordingly. You too will be left personifying music notes by the end of this album, almost from a forced urge to look deeper into the world of Laura, knowing that you’ll never quite get to the bottom of it.