And So I Watch You From Afar
Gangs


3.0
good

Review

by Ryan Fitz USER (32 Reviews)
May 9th, 2011 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "yea, summary is not up to par with the rest of the review"-LanceBramsay

Metaphorically speaking And So I Watch You From Afar have killed post rock and pissed over it's dead body- admittedly that might be a bit of an extreme comparison. ASIWYFA probably haven't killed post rock yet, but they sure are pissing all over it. I'd imagine the band has a certain disdain for post-rock legends like Godspeed You Black Emperor and Mono, whose post rock is such a grave and weighty affair, consisting off meandering violins and pretentious macabre noodling. It's not that the seven minute build-ups, one and a half minute crescendos, and cliche political speeches weren't exciting at first, because they undoubtably were, but after getting more imitators than an apple product, over time they have just grown stale. Which is why a band like ASIWYFA is illuminating. A band who wants to move post-rock from your local cathedral to your local bar, a band who is presenting a giant fuck you to post rock conventions, and creating a spark in the genre we have all been waiting for.

So it's good to know that ASIWYFA's lighthearted playfulness is in full swing in the band's latest, Gangs. The album starts with the fittingly titled "BEAUTIFULUNIVERSEMASTERCHAMPION" in which the band latches onto an eccentric riff and drives it to the ground with relentless energy, stopping only for a randomly placed build-up which allows them to drive the riff to the ground more relentlessly then previously before. The title track that follows directly after, is an intensely different experience, an ever-changing parade, which somehow finds it's way into a beautifully serene conclusion. The music remains incredibly unpredictable throughout the album, never fitting into a specific mold. True, it shares a striking resemblance to math-rock, but it's math-rock with a desperate need of Ritalin, abandoning it's technicality with a "color outside the lines" attitude.

Unfortunately despite the heaps of praise that you can attribute to the album, there's something immensely disappointing about Gangs. Basically because it isn't any different than anything the band has done before. "7 Billion People Alive At Once" includes a giant group vocal explosion in it's core. Sound familiar? It's identical to what they used in their debut's centerpiece, "Don't Waste Time Doing Things You Hate". In fact everything in Gangs is the same, boiling the album to a collection of energetic imitations. There is nothing in the album which expands the bands sound, nothing that sounds remotely unique in context of their previous output. ASIWYFA is far from needing an aesthetic makeover, but the complete lack of experimentation within the bands sound is downright disheartening. Don't get me wrong-And So I Watch You From Afar have used all the right colors in their new album , but the picture they painted is just a different shade of their last one. And Where's the fun in that?

So ironically, for a band who is fighting the redundant culture of post-rock, Gangs threatens to make the band exactly that, redundant. Everything in Gangs is well done, thoughtfully put together, and devilishly concoctive, yet unfortunately, nothing is as exciting as it was the second time through. Gangs isn't so much a step forward as it is a step sideways. Luckily for ASIWYFA, they're ahead of the majority of their peers, but at this rate, they won't be there for long.



Recent reviews by this author
The Antlers FamiliarsJohn Mark McMillan Borderland
Manchester Orchestra CopeSigur Ros Kveikur
Linkin Park Living ThingsLost In The Trees A Church That Fits Our Needs
user ratings (333)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Dr Dave De Sylvia STAFF (3)
A record that is as exhausting as it is exhilarating....

Eli EMERITUS (4)
In which And So I Watch You From Afar nonchalantly give the middle finger to the phrase "sophomore...


Comments:Add a Comment 
HenchmanOfSanta
May 9th 2011


1872 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I disagree entirely. Who cares if the band hasn't made some big stylistic change when their music is awesome?

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

letsgofishing
May 9th 2011


902 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I must be a terrible person.



letsgofishing
May 9th 2011


902 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ha ha, you beat me to the first comment, you bastard =)

I can definitely see your point, but I do care to see at least little changes. You know, a sense of progression, something new. and I just don't find anything like that in this offering. Although, if you couldn't tell from my first two graphs, I adore the band.

MusicinaBox
May 9th 2011


513 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I understand wat ur saying, i have to listen to it a few times before i know wat i think about this

lancebramsay
May 10th 2011


1585 Comments


Pos Mr. Fitz. I think discography is a very important factor in reviewing an album. People don't want to hear the band essentially cover itself over and over.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
May 10th 2011


23845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

that is an awful summary. it made me not read the review to be honest

lancebramsay
May 10th 2011


1585 Comments


that is an awful summary. it made me not read the review to be honest
that name is awful. it made me not listen to be honest :P but yea summary is not up to par with the rest of the review

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
May 10th 2011


7047 Comments


Don't be blowing off Aids' comments.

letsgofishing
May 10th 2011


902 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Summaries replaced... Sorry for that, don't really know what I was thinking.

thanks Lance.

dcha
May 10th 2011


990 Comments


What is Godspeed You Death Emperor and Mono?

Is that one band for three bands? Is the second one made up?

letsgofishing
May 10th 2011


902 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Godspeed You Black Emperor and Mono are two popular post-rock bands.

Was that supposed to be a joke....

and whoever neg'd me, that's sweet, this review is probably neg-worthy, but I would love to know why ya did it.
Thanks.

DoubtGin
May 10th 2011


6752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

no but you had written Godspeed You Death Emperor

letsgofishing
May 10th 2011


902 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'll never tell!!

toxin.
May 10th 2011


12497 Comments


Just out of curiosity, what was the summary before? lol

letsgofishing
May 10th 2011


902 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Confidential information...sorry.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
May 10th 2011


7047 Comments


Nope not my neg. It reads too well for a neg.
If it bothers you too much, report it.

toxin.
May 10th 2011


12497 Comments


neg'd

letsgofishing
May 10th 2011


902 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

xtoxin...are you blackmailing me? :P

@ipod- thanks for the compliment, and the neg doesn't upset me, just think that I should get the courtesy of an
explanation, that's all. Ain't going to ruin my day, I'm still the shit.

toxin.
May 10th 2011


12497 Comments


Haha you bet. If you want the pos, you know what I want. (Btw the review actually was good, lol)

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
May 10th 2011


7047 Comments


yeah constructive criticism is always nice.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy