RLYR – “Slipstream Summer”

Chicago produces metal supergroups with the same frequency that most cities produce groups, period. You’ve got Twilight, Corrections House, and Chrome Waves, of course, but even the nominal non-supergroups — Wrekmeister Harmonies, Lord Mantis, Nachtmystium, etc. — boast lineup cards that read like a who’s who of the city’s major players. The guys in the new band RLYR (pronounced “relayer”) are veterans of Chicago’s robust post-metal scene: drummer Steven Hess works with Locrian; bassist Colin DeKuiper is a current member of Bloodiest, formerly of Russian Circles; and Trevor Shelley de Brauw is the guitarist in Pelican. It’s probably not fair to call them a metal supergroup, because RLYR aren’t really a metal band — their upcoming album Delayer leans heavily on the “post” side of the equation, to some wonderful results.

Genre classifications aside, if you’re fan of any of the bands with which these guys are associated — especially Pelican and Russian Circles — you’ll find plenty to like about RLYR. This is superb instrumental post-rock, heavy on the hooks and quick to the climaxes. Shelly de Brauw’s guitar tone is absurdly rich, and while his blissfully melodic leads are the focus here, he’s abetted by musicians of equal magnitude, delivering performances every bit as deft. Delayer is out in mid-June, and RLYR are touring the States though the second half of that month (dates below), but all those details arrive today along with the album’s lead single and opening track, “Slipstream Summer.” I’m not entirely sure what that title is intended to convey — especially as there are no words to guide me to any conclusions — but it manages to capture the song’s character pretty damn well just the same: It’s fluid and buoyant, full of motion and light. And when it hits that Deafheaven-worthy apex at 4:25…fuck me, man. Too good. Listen.

Delayer is out 6/17 via Magic Bullet Records. Here are those tour dates.

04/24 Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s Rock Club (w/ Mutoid Man, Sweet Cobra)
06/17 Ferndale, MI @ The Loving Touch (w/ The Armed)
06/18 Indianapolis, IN @ State Street Pub
06/19 Cleveland, OH @ Now That’s Class (w/ Axioma)
06/20 Ithaca, NY @ Chanticleer Loft (w/ Twin Lords)
06/21 Boston, MA @ Great Scott (w/ United Nations, Nomad Stones)
06/22 New York, NY @ St Vitus (w/ United Nations)
06/23 Washington, DC @ DC9 (w/ TONE)
06/24 Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
06/25 Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups (w/ Castle, Mos Generator)
06/26 Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen (w/ Cloakroom)