Our Lost Infantry

The New Art History

Written by: TL on 18/01/2013 22:55:35

When the notes from guitar and piano start ticking off opener "Kenning", like seconds dancing anxiously off a clock, it's hard to not immediately expect that "The New Art History", the debut LP from Surrey quartet Our Last Infantry, is going to be a typical Deep Elm release, all cinematics and post-rock influences. "Fearless" however, comes along and states a difference immediately: While Our Last Infantry may have me reaching first for post-rock references like Union Sound Set and The Unwinding Hours, they are not meandering - not long-winded. They may be progressive and climax-oriented, but a common theme for the songs they've included on this debut is that they get off the ground sooner rather than later, and they have no shame in exploiting their strong refrains by singing them over till you remember them.

Consequently it won't be long until you have it stuck in your mind: the way the guitars wind up and ring in the chorus to "Fearless", giving way to a wailing organ sound and vocals straining to cry out "The state of grace, exists between us!". It won't be long before you recognise the fanfare-like chord-hammering and rousing proclamation of "The Tremors", the enchanting bridge and stormy, soaring calling of "All The Street Lights Of My Home Town" and the kick-drum-initiated tempo change in "To Meet Your Maker" which utterly sweeps you off your feet.

It will likely be long however, before you wear out "The New Art History" - Even if it's something I'm slightly hesitant to admit. There's something about the overconfident album title, the neatness of the piano strokes and the Gary Lightbody-ish lead-vocals and about the shameless chorus-repetition, that sustains a suspicion in the back of my mind that asks if all this epicism doesn't come a bit too cheaply? But then on the other hand, I also sort of welcome the no-nonsense way Our Lost Infantry just get in, establish an immersive atmosphere and then almost instantly escalate the intensity to explosive volumes. And when their fireworks are full ablaze, lighting up their soundscape, the overblown lines are delivered with such conviction it even reminds me of "Under Serious Attack", an old Emery classic that will probably always stand to me as an example of just how dramatic you can get, and as a song that any band should be proud to have me compare them to.

With the climaxes being almost Twin Atlantic-like in their power and catchyness, it's no wonder they act as show-stealers, but in reality there's actually plenty of peculiar parts woven around them as well, and it speaks of the quality of the melodies when you realise that on more than one occasion, they are not repeated in the conventional verse/chorus cycle. So while I guess you could say Our Last Infantry break post-rock rules by not taking forever to build their songs up, they do actually give you fascinating parts to listen to with almost frightening consistency, over the album's tightly cut 9 tracks. So yes ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves another one of those records: The annoying sort that I discover just too late to consider for inclusion on the appropriate Albums of the Year list.

Download: To Meet Your Maker, All The Streetlights Of My Hometown, Fearless
For The Fans Of: Union Sound Set, The Unwinding Hours, Lights Action, Twin Atlantic
Listen: facebook.com/ourlostinfantry

Release Date 14.11.2012
Deep Elm Records

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