I Am Alaska

So They Say EP

Written by: TL on 01/05/2011 21:03:43

When I first reviewed I Am Alaska some three years ago, I noted how promising and refreshing it was to hear a band pick up the torch from the likes of At The Drive-In. Now, three years and two EP's later, and seeing I Am Alaska barely making any progress at all, and I'm starting to question if this band is ever going to make something of themselves, and more importantly, if they even want to.

That's the short version of this review, and in truth, it doesn't get that much longer. Back on 2008's "A Day In The Life" EP, I Am Alaska presented the world with jagged, angry and atmospheric post-hardcore, spearheaded by wailing guitars and a vocalist that sounded like Billy Talent's Benjamin Kowalewicz gone mental, and here on "So They Say", things are pretty much exactly the same. The production might be slightly improved, and Greene Reveal vocalist Shawn van Brocklin may add a bit of variety by guesting on "Eat Your Melancholy", but other than that, IAA are pretty much sticking to their guns.

What bothers me about that is if it didn't get them anywhere in 2008, what's the sense in giving it a shot in 2011? And more importantly, how come things aren't getting better after three years? You'd expect the band to get more influences and hence produce a richer soundscape, but from what I can hear, "So They Say" suffers from the same unyielding bleakness as its predecessors, and as such, it doesn't offer the listener any truly memorable moments.

Okay, so the production might be fine, as are the performances in general. There's nothing technically wrong here, except for the lingering feeling that the band's aesthetic is getting tired. "So They Say" is not an awful record, that's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that it is simply rather unexciting, and in my opinion, this is a band that needs to have a talk about where they want their sound to go, lest they be headed for a career of continual mediocrity.


Download: Eat Your Melancholy
For The Fans Of: At The Drive-In, The Blood Brothers, Glassjaw, Circa Survive
Listen: iamalaska.bandcamp.com

Release Date 01.03.2011

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