Defeater
Travels


4.5
superb

Review

by lpcooper USER (1 Reviews)
August 3rd, 2011 | 26 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "To fully appreciate this masterpiece, one must take the time to listen to it through with lyric sheets in hand."

As a disclaimer I realise this review is hardly current and perhaps a little long but this is my first ever album review and one I feel I had to write. Any comments, criticisms, suggestions etc would be much appreciated..


Unfortunately for me, when I was first given Travels (the first I'd heard from Defeater) I was unaware that it is a concept album and thus listened to it as a neat collection of consistent post-hardcore songs. As a result my interest in the album was limited and while I enjoyed the listen, it did not grab me as I was told it would.

However, upon discovering that it is in fact a story, my interest was revived. I have a curious obsession with story telling albums (a huge fan of The Wall, Somewhere at the Bottom of the River.. and albums alike) and quickly set about deciphering this one. And was I in for a treat.

Travels tells the heartbreaking story of a man who grew up post World War Two in the Jersey Shore slums with each song acting like a chapter from a novel. As an adolescent the boy struggles with sibling rivalry and battles his drunken father in a bid to protect his mother. Eventually he runs from his fears and leaves for the city where he lives homeless on the streets and is tormented by his past. His travels take him to the country side where, inspired by farmers who cared for him, he decides to return home and confront his haunting past.

Lyrically the album is flawless. The story is easy enough to follow and much of the content reads like a book. To be fully understood however it must actually be read like a book in order to visualise the distinction between characters' dialogue and the narrator as changes in vocalist Derek Archambault's voice are often not distinct. Upon reading the story one will realise it has a lasting and powerful effect. The dramatic and fictitious nature of the story is of particular interest as it does not deal with issues that many listeners will be familiar with. In this way the album plays out much like a movie that requires listeners to accept characters without fully understanding or even relating to them.

Perhaps the greatest feat of the album is how this story is conveyed through the music. Musically the album is heavy. There are few quiet parts and driving bass, double kick and distorted guitars are consistent throughout. This is no criticism however. Heavy riffs, epic chord progressions and tasteful tempo shifts make what could have been just another hardcore album a very varied and enjoyable listen. As expected, the music compliments the intense emotions of the lyrics and gives them a very visual context. Repeated lines and half time/ double time sections emphasise key points in the story, a credit to the band's planning and song writing abilities.

[As a side note: for those who, like me, were at first confused by the seemingly random acoustic inclusion, this ditty is sung by 'The Prophet in Plain Clothes', a character the protagonist meets on the streets. This 'Prophet' is also interestingly the focus of Defeater's subsequent release Lost Ground]

To fully appreciate this masterpiece, one must take the time to listen to it through with lyric sheets in hand. Following the story through once will almost certainly fast track the repeated listens that is usually required to engage with a post-hardcore album. And repeated listens will be far more rewarding. Hopefully in doing so you can realise the musical and lyrical brilliance Defeater accomplish with this outstanding release.


user ratings (1239)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
yidnarc (4.5)
If you're a fan of punk, hardcore, or music in general than I think you'll have a field day with thi...

BananaSlamma (4.5)
...

Richard Craig (4.5)
...

fireaboveicebelow (4.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
cvlts
August 4th 2011


8976 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oh for fucks sake.

Relinquished
August 4th 2011


25489 Comments


is this your first hardcore album

wyankeif1337
August 4th 2011


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"As a disclaimer I realise this review is hardly current and perhaps a little long but this is my first ever album review and one I feel I had to write. Any comments, criticisms, suggestions etc would be much appreciated.."

save it for the comments, bud

lpcooper
August 4th 2011


4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

haha not a fan guys? i was really taken by this album. i've listened to hardcore and heavier music for years but found i was losing interest a bit and Defeater and other similar bands have helped me regain interest in the genre. i'm sure many would agree.

maybe sputnik wasn't the best place to post this review as it was more intended for people who haven't really heard of the band or the album and are looking to get into it. they do exist you know..

wyankeif1337
August 4th 2011


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

they don't on this site. you're totally allowed to post whatever reviews you want: just be prepared for a little bit of a backlash if it's for an album like this.

lpcooper
August 4th 2011


4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

haha yeah i realise that now, perhaps i'm just not 'elite' enough..

Yuma310
August 4th 2011


1656 Comments


ha ha the first review dont worry it will get better ha ha or you wil just get used to it lol bt other than that... Great first review!!! I liked it : )

lpcooper
August 4th 2011


4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

but i must say, just because i haven't been a member of sputnik since its creation doesn't mean i am clueless to good music and powerful albums.

lpcooper
August 4th 2011


4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

and cheers man : )

wyankeif1337
August 4th 2011


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you're thinking about this the wrong way. many people feel that writing reviews for albums that the userbase whacks off to like this one is often unnecessary.

wyankeif1337
August 4th 2011


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's nothing on the quality of the review itself, which is way better than my first.

Yuma310
August 4th 2011


1656 Comments


'you're thinking about this the wrong way. many people feel that writing reviews for albums that the userbase whacks off to like this one is often unnecessary.'

this is very true too it nothing against you just people at this point owuld like a more negative review considering it has 4 4.5's

But i like albums that tell a story I might check this album out.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
August 4th 2011


50850 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Amazing album

Digging: Bobby Barnett - Little Wounds

sixthgoldenticket
August 4th 2011


1176 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this album just has a ton of reviews already

also trebor i always mean to tell you how much i adore your avatar

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
August 4th 2011


50850 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man

MoosechriS
August 4th 2011


5053 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Awesome review and awesome album. Pos'd

KingAlistair
August 4th 2011


175 Comments


Good review, especially for a first x) I'll be sure to give this one more of a chance

North0House2
August 4th 2011


5880 Comments


^^^

A PUMA SLIPPER?!

WHAT?! TELL ME MORE! IT'S ONLY 30 BUCKS!



Also, pretty good review, but like Wyankeif said, reviews for Sputnik acclaimed albums that pretty much all the userbase loves are kinda unnecessary... Granted, I just wrote one for TDAGARIM, but that was more of a "personal" review... I guess. I bet I'm making no sense. Lol, have a pos, welcome to the site.

wyankeif1337
August 4th 2011


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah he should review Jane Doe next

Gyromania
August 4th 2011


15966 Comments


Carrying Weight is my favorite.



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