Three Days from Retirement – Empty Chinese Cities

Edinburgh band Three Days from Retirement return with a post-rock journey that fits well alongside other records of its genre

Album Review by Paul Sinclair | 13 Dec 2019
  • Three Days from Retirement – Empty Chinese Cities
Album title: Empty Chinese Cities
Artist: Three Days from Retirement
Label: Infinite Hive
Release date: 22 Nov

Four years have passed since Three Days from Retirement's last release, If We Keep Walking Eventually We’ll Fall Off. After a busy touring schedule across the UK, the instrumental Edinburgh band return to the scene with this DIY post-rock adventure.

Opening track Mandy builds from jangly guitars to a structurally compelling soundscape, reminiscent of older Explosions in the Sky tracks (with a dash of Death Cab for Cutie), with just the slightest hint of math rock. 

The album manages to maintain a similar feel without becoming overly repetitive, with most tracks following a journey from intricate and emotive melodies, building to drum hammering, heavy finales. Even with these similarities each track manages to create a unique story of its own, from the more intense, hard rock aspects of Mr John’s Keytar Will Create Waves of Joy (arguably the heaviest track on the album) to the dreamy, intricate guitar pieces present throughout, particularly powerful in Clare and Her Secret Life of Daydreams.

As with previous releases, Empty Chinese Cities hosts considerably lengthy tracks, the shortest of which sits at just under six minutes, however there is no wasted space or overly recurrent sequences. Instead, a compelling mix of quiet battles it out with loud. For an album recorded and mixed by the band themselves, Empty Chinese Cities sounds as epic and polished as any other record of this genre.

Listen to: Empty Chinese Cities