And So I Watch You From Afar
And So I Watch You From Afar


4.5
superb

Review

by Dr Dave De Sylvia STAFF
July 15th, 2009 | 145 replies | 31,391 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Belfast-based band’s mix the ferocity of DC hardcore with the carefree abandon of arena rock.

That Derry’s finest instrumental rock troupe And So I Watch You From Afar are oh-so-frequently lumped in with the post-rock brigade is not so much unfortunate as it is downright wrong, but it does say something about the genre. In the eyes of all but the seasoned observer, a band doesn’t have to do anything, or sound a particularly way, to be labelled “post-rock”: just not having a vocalist is enough. Now, nothing irks a band more than being pigeon-holed, but it must hurt doubly to be holed in the wrong coop entirely. And with all due respect to post-rock, And So I Watch You From Afar’s music is so far removed from the post-crescendo genre that it warrants screaming from the roof-tops- in fact, that wouldn’t be such a bad idea. The Belfast-based band’s raucous sound is a pithy amalgamation of the ferocity and intensity of DC hardcore and the carefree abandon of arena rock. To point out the obvious contradiction would be to miss the point entirely.

Given the obvious lack of lyrics (apart from an “oi!” here and they odd “hey!” there), the song titles have to be a little more descriptive than they typically are. Opener ‘Set Guitars To Kill’ is a perfect example, kicking the album off with a crunching power chord riff and pulsating reverb-soaked drums that give way to increasingly more chaotic and dissonant exchanges. Likewise, the impeccably-titled ‘TheseRIOTSareJUSTtheBEGINNING’ is frenetically-paced and relentlessly aggressive, while ‘Don’t Waste Time Doing Things You Hate’ sees the band indulge their zanier pleasures: from signature shred-guitar moves rarely heard outside a guitarist’s bedroom to sexy Meters-like funk rhythms and a beer-soaked ‘Hey Jude’-style gang sing-a-long for the last couple of minutes. In truth, there is the odd moment within a song of overt post-rockishness: single ‘A Little Bit Of Solidarity Goes A Long Way’ works the silence-crescendo model to a T. But the overall effect is more comparable to compatriots and frequent touring partners Adebisi Shank, as they’re more likely to lock into a dynamic groove and play off that energy than to tease listeners with the quiet-loud formula.

Not only is And So I Watch You From Afar well-balanced between the band members, it’s also a quality effort from start to finish. It’s always tempting to load the best tracks to the front- and, to be fair, the opening three songs are the most immediate on the album- but the album ends just as strongly as it starts. ‘The Voiceless,’ one of two tracks to re-appear from the group’s debut EP, another track that hints at erupting into an Explosions In The Sky-like cacophonous crescendo, but instead holds off without really sacrificing anything in the way of grandeur. Following that, and finishing the album on a high, is ‘Eat The City, Eat It Whole’ (Pedants’ Corner: that should be a semi-colon). It’s stylistically different from anything else on the album, beginning with some country and blues-tinged motifs before patiently easing into a familiar mathy groove, the type that litters the album and makes it such a wonderful, coherent listen from start to finish.



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user ratings (440)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
NovaSilver (4.5)
A fun post rock album....


Comments:Add a Comment 
SuperDuck
July 15th 2009



327 Comments


I'm from Belfast.

Bragable indeed.

Knott-
Emeritus
July 15th 2009



10195 Comments


saw these guys with Maybeshewill and was far too occupied talking to the latter while ASIWYFA were playing; kind of regret it now because I enjoy this record massively.

rasputin
July 15th 2009



14540 Comments


whoa, major formatting issues. i am interested in this album.

gaslightanthem
July 15th 2009



5209 Comments


The Belfast-based band’s raucous sound is a pithy amalgamation of the ferocity and intensity of DC hardcore and the carefree abandon of arena rock.

oh

iarescientists
July 15th 2009



5863 Comments


thinking about checking this out, but harrison likes it, so that is a sign that it sucks D:

TREO5
July 15th 2009



1069 Comments


this is pretty good stuff here man, honestly checked it out because of their name lol. But it's pretty good stuff.


jrowa001
July 15th 2009



8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great album


SmurkinGherkin
July 15th 2009



1769 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I found this band through RockSound and downloaded the album. It's pretty good but i need to listen to it more before i rate. A Little Bit Of Solidarity Goes A Long Way rules though.

Jom
Staff Reviewer
July 15th 2009



2670 Comments


Sounds dead sexy.

Prophet178
July 15th 2009



6397 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Amazing album, I never really got why they were grouped with post-rock either, since they are the complete opposite of what post-rock is all about.

foreverendeared
July 15th 2009



14678 Comments


They do have the name of what i would imagine would be a post-rock band. And So I Watch You From Afar screams post-rock. I may check this out later.

Essence
July 15th 2009



3583 Comments


Good review, will check out.


MentalityOfA
July 15th 2009



1213 Comments


I don't care for your music tastes too much, that being said, I'm definitely not going to listen to this.

MentalityOfA
July 15th 2009



1213 Comments


Like the band name though.

Essence
July 15th 2009



3583 Comments


...? Splat has "immense" taste, to put it precariously cornily.

McP3000
July 16th 2009



3941 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

[quote=iarescientists]thinking about checking this out, but harrison likes it, so that is a sign that it sucks D:[/quote]
stfu faggot

on a side related know im glade someone fellates this album as much as i do


McP3000
July 16th 2009



3941 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

did i say i like the review alot because i do

zachfearsatan
July 16th 2009



19 Comments


i really need to give this record another shot. great review.

kitsch
July 16th 2009



5107 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

ill check this out but

the name could only belong to either a post rock or skramz band

sickofantsid
July 16th 2009



129 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Brilliant album, glad it will now get some attention on here



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