Bow & Quiver

Written by: PP on 09/08/2010 22:40:05

If you thought Frank Turner had a way with words, wait 'til you hear Kylewilliam Campol from imadethismistake on their new album "Bow & Quiver". He owns a curious singing style, relying on almost spoken-word approach to his story-driven vocal lines, that occasionally burst into coarse grunts and screams that calm down as quickly as they exploded. It's all in the details, the fiery part that directly contrasts an earlier quiet one, be it an acoustically-driven near-ballad, or a post-punk track that changes tempo several times through its duration. In either approach, Campol delivers an incredibly strong and memorable performance that'll put off the listener on the first listen for sure because of how different it is to any other vocalist you'll have heard. In a way, it's like listening to an unexpected, hardcore-influenced side project of Frank Turner's lyrics, The Hold Steady vocalist Craig Finn's story-telling talent, and Jawbreaker's emotionally charged punk rock. Throw in an indie rock vibe and a minimalistic approach to instruments, and you're just about there.

As a result, "Bow & Quiver" is very much a lyricist's album more than anything else. The instrumentals are often deceivingly simple, only adding a silent background layer of saxophone and French horn to support the single guitar at times. Sure, there are gang-shouted punk rock tracks in between as well, but it's no secret that the best tracks are those where Campol is given the sole focus and the rest of the instruments assume a supporting role on the background. This is why you really need to pay attention to his lyrics to fully enjoy the album, because it's here where you'll find the true gems of inspiration. "New York" is a great example with its opening lines to the album:

"It's like I've been given a three inch blade to cut down a full grown oak. It's not so much impossible as it is unlikely I'll ever have the follow through to go on. But those trees leave overhead casting shadows like skyscrapers, with little stiff bodies hanging from the windows with their heads rolled off to the side. I think it's about time you go on."

That said, there are also tracks where Campol is pushed aside for semi-lengthy instrumental passages which focus on an indie-flavored soundscape that borrows heavily from original emo bands like The Promise Ring and, of course, Braid. "Stateside" is one of these with its excellent use of basement-punk style production and innovative, experimental guitar sections. "Evasion Tactics" is another with it's gang-shout vocals and saxophone passages. But still, I keep returning to the singer/songwriter type tracks like "Winter In New Bedford" time and time again. There's something special brewing underneath lyrics like "wake up kid, there's snow outside, 24 inches of early white, strap your boots and tighten your belts, we built this man, now WATCH HIM MELT!" that's hinting at a layer of depth indiscoverable unless you really pay attention to Campoli. Comes highly recommended for many reasons, not least its sheer originality.


Download: New York, Winter In New Bedford
For the fans of: Frank Turner, The Hold Steady, The Promise Ring, Jawbreaker
Listen: Myspace

Release date 11.05.2010
Beuda Mohawk Productions

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