This emo throwback movement happening at the moment is awesome. I eat this mopey self-martyrdom up in every layer of every build and every abrupt dynamic change. And with the popularization of the interwebs, I can spend a whole hour's salary to get a record sent to me from Australia by some sad white dudes who love layers and dynamics and plaintive lyrics just as much as I do. And I love this record right now.
I love the movie samples before each track putting me smack dab in the 90's and our disdain for stupid copyright laws and love of cheesy quotes. I love the attention to detail in the way the layers work together to ebb and flow through the songs. And just enough polish so you can hear everything but it doesn't sound like a computer made it. But the secret of this record is the backing vocals. The backing vocals are fantastic.
The lead singer is a bit whispery and mid range and on his own might be too melodramatic for me to take seriously. However, from deep in the mix, the backing vocals call out just the right line at just the right time that makes you want to form that gun shape with your hand and point it at the sky and openly shout/sing along. It's particularly brilliant on the track that near-instantly made me click the "buy" button: "Reminders Written On Maps". After the second High-Fidelity sample of the record (of course!), it starts with an ethereal feedback under quiet vocals for a bit and then the backing vocals double the lead line: "I'd love to hear your name" in quiet fury under the loud whisper of the lead and the contradictions are just too much to contain. The second half of the song is the release of the build and has two separate parts that don't quite work with the rest, but that moment is enough for me to forgive them for their transgressions.
Probably the only reason I can't give this a 5 is because it's awesome now, but I worry that in a couple years, the cracks will start to show on these old emo tricks again and I'll grow out of sad bastard music after a tumultuous 20 year run. Well, that and there are a couple tracks that dip their toe a little too far in the pop-emo of the 2000s. We can't have it all, can we?
A1: Animal Mineral, Vegetable
A2: This Machine Destroys Everything!
A4: Reminders Written On Maps
B5: How Did It Go Last Night?
B6: This Could Be The Tragedy We've Been Waiting For
B7: Understanding This Is Not A Car Crash
B8: Pet Cemetery
B9: Space Jam
Extra Digital-Only Track: