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ROCK

Death Cab for Cu­tie

Thank You for To­day

This is the Seat­tle indie rock­ers’ first record with­out found­ing mem­ber Chris Walla; hon­ing in on the sound that they cre­ate best, the band have taken a se­lec­tive ap­proach to their ninth stu­dio al­bum, Thank You for To­day. The al­bum cou­ples the fa­mil­iar­ity of their pen­sive gui­tars and Ben Gib­bard’s evoca­tive lyrics with sonic flour­ishes that add at­mos­phere. “Your Hur­ri­cane” is a care­fully crafted lament, grounded by Nick Harmer’s bass play­ing and Jason McGerr’s pre­cise drum­ming, while Gib­bard as­serts that he “won’t be the de­bris in your hur­ri­cane.” There is a real propul­sion be­hind songs on this al­bum, such as “North­ern Lights,” which is at once melan­cholic and tightly wound, fea­tur­ing in­sis­tent rhythms and lay­ered melodies. Gen­tri­fi­ca­tion, chang­ing ge­og­ra­phy and friends leav­ing are themes on Thank You for To­day, but they’re sit­u­ated within lyrics that grap­ple with hon­est emo­tions and sce­nar­ios in a way that al­lows them to blend.

Al­bum opener “I Dreamt We Spoke Again” and lead sin­gle “Gold Rush” show a band with deep­en­ing con­fi­dence — the group’s sonic ex­per­i­ments re­veal the ne­ces­sity of their two newer mem­bers, Dave Dep­per

their be­he­moth of a fol­lowup, which am­pli­fied the am­bi­tion of its pre­de­ces­sor ten­fold, the once San Fran­cis­cobased band have been force-feed­ing new norms down the throat of a genre skilled at re­sist­ing change.

Or­di­nary Cor­rupt Hu­man Love fully sheds the re­spon­si­bil­ity of lev­el­ling with purists. Pro­duced by Jack Shirley (Jeff Rosen­stock), the al­bum plants its feet firmly in the ter­ri­tory of ex­pan­sive rock odyssey. Deal­ing with eu­pho­ria and dis­so­lu­tion, pain and de­vo­tion, Deafheaven do not treat these themes as mu­tu­ally ex­clu­sive, but tan­gle them with com­ple­men­tary sonic en­vi­ron­ments that span am­ple mu­si­cal and cul­tural land­scapes.

On al­bum opener “You With­out End,” screamer Ge­orge Clarke sit­u­ates his gut­tural snarl as the back­ing cho­rus to the­atri­cal, cli­mac­tic keys that mimic the ges­tic­u­lat­ing cel­e­bra- and Zac Rae. Ul­ti­mately, Thank You for To­day finds DCfC choos­ing to forge ahead by us­ing the foun­da­tion of their back cat­a­logue to har­ness their core iden­tity and build upon it. (Atlantic)

How did the new lineup change your ap­proach?

Bassist Nick Harmer: There wasn’t much change to how the songs [are] born and come into the band. The big dif­fer­ence was just [Zac and Dave’s] level of ex­cite­ment and en­thu­si­asm for com­ing up with ideas, sug­gest­ing tex­tures and coun­ter­melodies to re­ally sup­ple­ment and bol­ster the demo work that Ben had done. To feel that kind of “all for one, one for all” in the stu­dio was re­ally ex­cit­ing.

How did this record’s themes de­velop?

Ben never sits down with a the­sis, or “I’m gonna write a con­cept record around a topic.” He writes from his heart and then as a band, as we’ve sifted through and picked our favourites, then it’s when we can see why these songs are start­ing to seem re­lated and feel like an al­bum’s worth of ma­te­rial. We didn’t set out to make a record about change, I think there’s just a lot of change that’s hap­pen­ing around us — even just with time and age.

tion of “Life on Mars” or “Bo­hemian Rhapsody”; the haunt­ing un­der­tone of metal­lic dark­wave on “Night Peo­ple” (which fea­tures Chelsea Wolfe and pro­ducer Ben Chisholm) could be a Chro­mat­ics out­take; and “Glint” flirts with star-span­gled sta­dium rock. At its core, Or­di­nary Cor­rupt Hu­man Love rev­els in the band’s abil­ity to de­liver speed gui­tar and blast beats de­signed to as­phyx­i­ate, ei­ther as the foun­da­tion of a song like “Ca­nary Yel­low,” or sand­wiched be­tween im­pos­si­bly catchy golden-toned power pop and ce­les­tial post-rock on “Hon­ey­comb.” The fact that the al­bum kinda sounds like so many things, very few of them usu­ally ad­ja­cent to the genre, sits at the crux of the al­bum’s as­pi­ra­tion. Or­di­nary Cor­rupt Hu­man Love is a crit­i­cal re­minder to card-car­ry­ing loy­al­ists and new in­ductees alike of their own agency; that it’s po­ten­tially rev­e­la­tory, not sac­ri­le­gious, for the spec­trum of black metal to in­clude things out­side of its purview. (Anti)

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