Saturday, June 5, 2010

Album Review: Past Lives – Tapestry of Webs

Having seen them live not long ago, I was already a fan of Past Lives. But they’re more than just a few pretty faces making some enticing noise on the stage. They also happen to have released a rather fine little record earlier this year, Tapestry of Webs. It’s loud, it’s feisty, it’s full of swagger, and damned if I don’t love it from here to next Thursday.

For quite a while I had a hard time getting past opening track “Paralyzer”. It’s a serious slow-burner, building ever-so-smolderingly into a noisy crashing climax, aided along the way by some absolutely wicked guitar sliding. “She came outta nowhere,” singer Jordan Blilie declares, blindsided, as steamrolling noise batters the air around him. But really, the racket has just begun. “Falling Spikes” shows off spiky vocals and taut, guitar and high-speed drummery. Past Lives is one of the only bands I know of with a self-titled song, the third on Tapestry of Webs. Like the band, the song “Past Lives” is full of sonic complexities, a mix of darkness and light both musically and lyrically. It’s a little ominous, and I sure do like it.

“Don’t Let The Ashes Fill Your Eyes” is a favorite, bold and brazen song churning slowly yet fiercely along. “The sky will split/and the seas will rise/but not for a long long time,” Blilie sings, drolly and nonplussed, as the guitar and bass continue their brashness. “K Hole” is an aural assault from the word go, with fiery shouting and equally scorching guitar play. The shouting gets so heated that at times it’s indecipherable, but who doesn’t love a good howl every now and then? And that oh-so sinister break in the middle of the song is a nice touch, very haunting indeed. On and on it goes, louder here, subtlely raging there, never the same but always fantastic.

The more I listen to Tapestry of Webs, the more I love it. It’s more nuanced than run of the mill punk, a little more aggro than straight up rock and roll, and definitely not just standard indie fare. While it defies genre-fication, it can’t hide the fact that it’s a darned fine record. Not only do I love it for being nice and loud, there’s a lot more to it than that. It’s an album that goes full-tilt the whole way through. This is a band to keep an eye on, that’s for damn sure. If you’re in the mood for a good old sonic kick in the teeth, might I suggest Past Lives?

mp3: Vanishing Twin (Past Lives from Tapestry of Webs)

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