Again For The Win

We've Been Here Forever

Written by: DR on 19/02/2013 14:53:06

Again For The Win are not a band to do anything by less than a full measure. They are shamelessly ambitious in their scope, tackling genres like post-rock, shoegaze, indie and electronica in their ambitious sound, and their lyrics tackle themes ranging from love to rallying cries of independence. Everything they do is rather epic; by now, on their second LP, they are starting to get pretty good at it.

Stylistically, Again For The Win take the epic song structures from post rock akin to many of their Deep Elm label-mates, a lot of reverb from shoegaze, the relatively bare production from 80s British pop music, and the vocals and guitar licks of epic indie rock from bands like eaststrikewest and The Dangerous Summer. It's generally done well, too, as from the infectious opening lines of "we were all wearing red when it came down to it" you'll mostly be immersed in Again For The Win's soundscapes. It's hard ro pick stand out tracks in what is a cohesive listen, but opening track "Merkabah" is a graceful yet controlled example of immersive post-rock that remains one of the album's highlights after many listens, and "Your Heaviest Light", the album's first real tread into noisiness, is an impressive demonstration of searing guitar melodies and dynamics.

However, "We've Been Here Before" can be initially difficult to get into. Firstly, the production is not the most clear - the reverb, at times over-done, and the overly-dominant vocals often crowd many of the subtleties in the mix. Secondly, the lyrics strive to be constantly epic, and there are occasional lyrical missteps. For instance, they actually use the memes "That's what she said" and "Pictures or it didn't happen" as lyrics in "Aspirations" and "Having Heard Sirens" respectively. The problem isn't that they've used those lines, it's that neither work in the context of their songs, seeming like they've been jammed in there for the sake of it, and both ultimately stick out like sore thumbs.

Anthemic, star-gazing rock is hard to get right. There's a fine line between what's epic and what's absurd, but it's a line generally toed with assurance and ability by Again For The Win. There are missteps, but there are enough great moments to cancel them out. Though it's not the cohesive, anthemic masterpiece they want to (and probably will) create, it's yet another fine addition to Deep Elm Record's great catalogue of indie music.


Download: Merkabah, Your Heaviest Light
For The Fans of: Eaststrikewest, The Dangerous Summer
Listen: Deep Elm page

Release Date 15.08.2012
Deep Elm Records

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