3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Bit of a let down...,
This review is from: All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone [Limited Edition] (Audio CD)
Overall, I found this quite a disappointing record, hence the three stars. I bought it based on 'The Earth is Not...' whose five songs were all of the highest quality.
So where does this record fall short? Well, EiTS again go for a short number of tracks (six), but at least two of these songs just don't pass muster (the relatively short 'So Long...', 'What Do You...'), two are average (the lightweight 'Welcome, Ghosts', 'Catastrophe and the Cure'), which leaves you with only two memorable tracks. I think the problem is that the band hasn't really developed their sound or taken many risks with their style. The album does have a more punchier feel, with less reverb than the previous album and more distorted tones with the guitar, but it just feels unconvincing in places because the band are so clearly going over old ground.
'Catastrophe', for instance, starts of with a real sense of urgency and some fantastically taut drumming, but after the second repetition you sense a malaise creeping in. The song fails to bring itself back up to the emotional tenor of the beginning. 'Welcome, Ghosts' again has some nice moments, shifting mood with some fantastic alternations between loud/quiet - but, once again, the song fails to come to a satisfying conclusion. Opening track 'The Birth and Death of the Day' fares better than both and has its structure absolutely spot on. There is also some fraut guitar playing and drum rolls in the song's crescendo. I would rate this song amongst their good stuff.
But the album does have one absolute stand-out, 'It's Natural to be Afraid'. It's split into three sections and goes from ambient/piano/feedback storm in the first section, to a clutch of twinkling, delicate melodies in the middle, before finishing things off with an absolutely breathtaking distorted outro. Basically, EiTS have their structure right in this song and they have the melodies to back it up. This is what they can do when they want to, and the emotional power is up there with anything they have on the previous record. There is an integrity to the melodies that isn't there on songs like 'So Long, Lonesome', which makes me think this album is a bit of a let down.
I just think that after this album the band may have to look at ripping up their rulebook. Despite the excellence of 'It's Natural...' there is a sense of a lack of an ideas, or the band maybe feeling that they have to revert to type or something. They are a cut above most of the post-rock bands out there but they need to try something different or they will fall into self-parody.