EchoesAndDust.com Review ASIWYFA's Debut Album
Annoyingly, I’ve recently had to take a hiatus in writing due to illness, but now I appear to be recovering I have resolved to try and pick up where I left off a month or so ago.
Where I left off was being very much gobsmacked by the new album from Belfast’s And So I Watch You From Afar.
We’d been vaguely aware of these guys for a little while via a number of EP’s that have been floating about for some time but they’d not really commanded our full attention until now. However, the new album has changed all that.
From the moment the blistering "Set Guitars To Kill" blasts out of the speakers this record grabs you by the lapels, thrusts you up against the speakers & doesn’t let go. ASIWYFA purvey a brand of math rock, possibly math metal really, that is heavy, urgent and irresistible. The attack comes on like a breaking wave, swamping the listener in guitars, bass and the drumming, oh man the drumming! The drummer must have four arms and a crate of Go juice!
The track titles reflect the intense, twitchy, hyperactivity of the music; "Set Guitars To Kill", "Clench Fist, Grit Teeth...Go!", "If It Ain’t Broke, Break It" and "These Riots Are Just Beginning" all point towards the barely suppressed, feverish energy that is contained within.
The ideas are many and fresh and they spill out all over the album, tempo changes come in like tangents but never seem forced or unnecessary, riffs transmutate only to reappear later, heavier, dirtier.
"I Capture Castle", a personal highlight, exemplifies this. Starting out as an innocent sounding post rock ditty, over the course of 7 minutes or so grows in to something so vast, so epically deep and heavy, it’s a real ‘Oh my God, It’s full of stars’ moment.
Album closer is another great example of what these guys are about; "Eat The City, Eat It Whole" is beautiful yet utterly brutal simultaneously. Full of glittering glory and utter violence. Stupefying.
Last year we here at E&D Towers were worrying that the post rock genre was becoming moribund, too weighed down by its own self-referential importance, but with bands like ASIWYFA a new energy and direction is being injected, instrumental guitar based music my well have a fresh and exciting future after all.
Top tracks: "I Capture Castles", "Set Guitars To Kill", "Eat The City, Eat It Whole"
- Dan Salter, echoesanddust.com
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