All Hail Bright Futures
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All Hail Bright Futures could be taken as both an ethos for the album and the band at this point in time. There is a new color scheme in place: new textures,emotions,sounds and voices. The 12 track,43 minute album is dominated by a sunnier disposition,a positive uplift that more closely matches the euphoria the Northern Ireland trio has been instilling in audiences through their music in a live setting for the last five years.
What are And So I Watch You From Afar up to? Haven’t they seen the news recently? The world’s gone wrong: massive global debt, massive unemployment and B*Witched are reforming. Misery. Everywhere.
Yet this, the Belfast band’s third album, is ridiculously optimistic and happy. It’s downright chirpy. It whisks you away to a beach party in the Caribbean where the sun’s shining and everyone’s laughing and dancing.
ASIWYFA’s mostly-instrumental rock has always been full of flair and bombast. Their success as a band is built on the understanding that instrumental rock can plod and get dull unless you propel it forward with powerful riffs, shape-shifting rhythms and catchy melodies. As a result, their music is never boring.
Previous album Gangs was built on shrill guitars and aggression. As it ducked and wove, it resembled prog rock. All Hail Bright Futures retains some of that template, but with a lighter touch and a broader sonic palette. The music is always on its toes, eager to spring off somewhere new.
On opener Eunoia, guitars ring out and echo like delicate pats on steel drums. On Like a Mouse – which must be an ironic title – riffs buzz and rattle onwards at such speed that they almost spin out of control.
This album is full of new ideas. There are cheeky marimba rhythms on The Stay Golden. On Ka Ba Ta Bo Da Ka, the lads layer up those spoken syllables with hand claps and a funky bass riff before winding up to a crisp crescendo – it’s like Vampire Weekend delivered with menace.
There’s a xylophone on the title track, and whoops and cheers are littered throughout the album. The cry goes up on Big Thinks Do Remarkable: “The sun, the sun, the sun… is in our eyes!”
The sun is shining, the party’s started. ASIWYFA sound like they’re having fun shaping and performing this music, and you’ll want to be part of it. Oh they’ve been watching the news alright, and they’ve stuck two fingers up at it. We should all be doing the same.
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Top Customer Reviews
It's pretty hard to pick one album out of the bands discography that stands shoulders above the rest, but I think I would choose this one every time. The complex instrumentation is all there, but the addition of "gang vocals" on many of the songs bring in a refreshing visceral element to their sound. The songs are incredibly dynamic in range, unpredictable, vibrant and engaging. Each track will have your undivided attention. Easily the album of the Summer, if not the year.
Keep watching And so I watch You From afar. They undoubtedly have a very bright future indeed.
I have been a fan from the early days and had great hopes for this, given they had joined Russian Circles record label.
In parts , this album is "ok" but it suffers from the same affliction that affects too much of Norn Iron "indie".
It is simply trying too hard, and sounds far too much like the bands from Northern Ireland that frankly turn me off.
Stop looking so inward and start looking outwards.
A good start might be to record the next album away from this self absorbed little backwater (I love my homeland, but frankly, it stifles good bands)
Not their best, but still a band you should check out.
This long winded named band is operating in the post and math rock genre. Though with both a lot of Irish folk music and techno influences on this album. Those influences on the top of a mix of post rock and experiemental metal. Or even post metal. Add some indie music too and you get this album. Or this mix as it feels like.
This is music looking forward and not backward as most of the albums I review is doing. Which makes both this band and album a bit refreshing in my ears. Not to mention; alien. But this is by all means progressive music. Probably more progressive than prog rock.
...... Anyway, this is a very good album in my ears. That after overcoming some strange music you find on this album. Most of this album is alien to me. But I like it. I like post rock in general and this band. This album is well worth checking out for those of you wanting to know the status of the new progressive music scene.