Review Summary: The most moving, unimportant release of 2010.
I cannot stress how ridiculously hard it is to write about a band like Acres. I could take the namedropping route and point out that these teenagers from New Jersey pull off the emo-ish sort of melodic guitar interplay nearly as perfect as pioneers American Football, that the melodies hit home with as much emotive delicateness as Empire! Empire! I Was A Lonely Estate(this is all true, but I can't say it does much as far as getting somebody to listen to this). I could break down the technical proficiency of this band and juxtapose general cathartic description with quick references to the most fulfilling musical moments, but that course is becoming old. There's no backdrop for this album, and the story behind the band is no different from every other hardcore group that started in their teen years. The fact is that Acres. are obscure as fu
ck and no matter what sort of contrived hype and overexcited hyperbole I conjure, most people who need to hear this will not.
And maybe the ignorable qualities to such a record lay on the forefront; though the playing is undoubtedly pretty and the record is admirably in sync for a hardcore band, Silos
is, on first impression, just another emo record. First-time listeners who've heard it all may find no depth in this record, but underneath the amount of sincerity on this album is unbearable. And one may discover this if they manage to get past the gruff barks of the vocalist and delve into the lyrics, which drive and put context to the music in a subtle, yet heart-felt way. And the vocalist doesn't fully come off as an emotive genius, opening up the record with typical shouted self-pitied lyrics. However as each section of "I've Met My Maker" flows into another, the vocals get more relatable as the music builds. The lyrics touch upon more and more child-like angst as the guitars get more dynamic, in such a direct and intentional way that it manages to completely strip itself of pretense, wallowing in it's own realized musical story. And all of the pained, yet beautiful songwriting manages to culminate in the most simplistic duet of sung and spoken vocals that the amount of nostalgia released in such an innocent change becomes unreal:
all of my old toys
when I was your boy
tightly one more time
[one more time]
I know that I'm grown, but you can still pick me up
And the themes, though tastefully covered, are devoid of any hidden metaphoric blabber or arty non-sequiturs, so that there's an accumulated sense of relatability, as the singer's barks of dread and longing become more frantic and honest as the album progresses. As tales of wasted time and hesitance are rapidly released, the instruments drive along with an equal amount of passion. As the vocalist whispers "but like any child there's a duality to my emotions, a side that needs to hold on, a side that needs to let go" on "Fortune Tellers", the atmospheric guitars build around it in a sympathetic lull of simplicity. And all of the emotions that are so tastefully dealt with throughout the three opening tracks finally culminate in the blissfully well-written "Your House Song". The songwriting is superb, delving through angular verses that build up into rushed, melodic riffage and finally fall into the spectacular chorus of "I know/your house/echoes/our song". And instead of leaving it with a gem of a chorus, all the childish worries and tales of the record seem to all culminate in the uncontrived, rough climax of Silos
Perhaps what drives my rating up is how agreeable the content of this album is under such odd circumstances. There's something deeper to revel in hearing a teenager shout about father issues, to hear such unpretentious honesty being let out over nostalgic kinsella noodling. It's the very passionate tension, the emotions on this record that drive me to find somebody else as moved as myself. And that's essentially what emo is all about, ultimately. It's the sound of somebody sharing their worries over frenetic music, for others who can relate to revel in. As humans we all yearn for a sense of kinship, that we can connect with strangers who might share the same passions, tastes, problems, dreams. And if you have ever wanted to write a ridiculously personal and outspoken piece about an album that you want everyone to hear, please check out this album. I'm sure you'll find a redeemable quality if you let it sink in.