Alloy follows Silo's impressive Swim debut, Instar, with another 50 minutes of self-styled post rock. Once again, much of the sound is based around a guitar/bass/drums set-up with occasional whispery vocals that are even more scarce and mysterious than before.
Unlike Instar there doesn't really seem to be a standout track—Alloy is without its Templates. Perhaps this is because Alloy seems like a more coherent entity than the debut, although the are many subtle shifts and diversity throughout. Prime Movers offers a mesh of repeating riffs with swirling electronics playing in the background of a whispering voice; fragmented rhythms and sub-bass hold everything together. k2 and Motor take the hypnotic nature of Alloy to the extreme, while the ambient Repose becomes the calm after the storm to finish the album.
Alloy is another nail in the coffin of traditional rock. It proves that intensity is not about noise and volume, but atmosphere and that beat doesn't have to follow conventions. It's certainly interesting to note that although there are no 'standard' 4:4 tracks, Alloy never feels awkward. In fact, the fragmentary yet hypnotic level of disorientation rapidly becomes engrossing.
Totally accessible, yet hypnotic and captivating, this is the sort of record that most rock bands dream of making, but never have to guts to. The press release reckons there are only three people in the world that can dance to this. Be that as it may, there are doubtless many more that can appreciate it. The likelihood is that you're one of them.
Craig Grannell (February, 2001)