And So I Watch You From Afar

All Hail Bright Futures

Written by: DR on 09/07/2013 13:50:48

With five EPs, their fantastic self-titled debut LP and the solid follow up, "Gangs", And So I Watch You From Afar have been one of the most productive and interesting bands in the instrumental rock scene for some years now. Whereas most instrumental and post-rock music has a proclivity to be pretentious, ASIWYFA have succeeded because they have always been about having fun and bringing high energy levels to both their records and their live shows. This idea of throwing every-fucking-thing into their music has never been more evident that on their third LP, "All Hail Bright Futures".

Having all but abandoned the post-rock-inspired idea of creating gorgeous soundscapes, ASIWYFA are now fully-fledged into the insane and ridiculously complex world of math-rock, and they now have arcade-y electronics are and with nonsensically chanted vocals in their sound. However, while they have always been quirky, the ante has now been upped to a degree some fans may feel they're not able to follow them to. Before, their quirkiness was relatively subtle - it helped shape music. But now it has relentlessly taken over and it's going to divide opinion.

The album starts off well enough the one-two of "Eunoia" and "Big Thinks Do Remarkable", the combination of which fully displays the band's ability to charge up tension over the course of a few minutes before explosively releasing it. "Like A Mouse" is solid enough to keep the momentum going, the chants spelling out the song's title in "AMBULANCE" are undeniably fun and "The Stay Golden" features the best crescendo of the entire record. However, getting that far into the record is another thing entirely. The unashamed unconventionality of the record takes some stomaching, as ASIWYFA seem to flaunt it as much as possible - sometimes unnecessarily so - by throwing as much as they can at every single track. Getting to the second half of the record, therefore, isn't made particularly easy. For instance, the closer "Young Brave Minds" and "Ka Ba Ta Bo Da Ka" are individually infectious and good fun to listen to, but after an entire album of incessant excitement with little reprieve, you kind of want ASIWYFA to calm down and allow their songs room to breathe. As a result, the second half suffers; as ASIWYFA charge forward, the listener may not have the energy to keep up with them.

More than any album before, "All Hail Bright Futures" is the sound of And So I Watch You From Afar having the time of their lives. You can hear it in how every song sounds like it could not possibly have more added to it. Though the songs range from solid to great, and while there's no denying the technical prowess of this band or the quality of the tracks on their own, "All Hail Bright Futures" is difficult to get through as a cohesive work. It's a record you have to expose yourself to gradually before you can begin to reap the rewards of it. After a while, the attempts to make every-fucking-thing stand out and each song different succeeds in making them all start to sound the same.

7

Download: Eunoia, Big Thinks Do Remarkable, The Stay Golden
For The Fans of: You Slut!, Maybeshewill, Talons, Tera Melos
Listen: Facebook

Release Date 19.03.2013
Sargent House


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