Review Summary: One hell of a debut.
If you have ever woken up and watched the mist settle over a lake just before sunrise, you might have experienced a little piece of Burn the Boats
. If you have ever heard the hellish clamor of metal striking metal in a horrendous car crash, you may also have experienced something from Burn the Boats
. This debut album from Farewell Republic is a rare blend of beauty and chaos, mixing subgenres that range from shoegaze and dream-pop to psychedelic rock and indie-folk. At times dancing like flames in a burning forest and at other times flowing forth with the softness of a pristine brook, this is a record that dares to throw itself directly between placidity and pandemonium. It isn’t always pretty, and sometimes the arrangements will leave you wondering – but that’s what makes this such a haunting and daringly original masterpiece.
For as dissonant as it can be, Burn the Boats
swells with hope-filled melodies. Sometimes it is in plain view, and other times it is hidden behind walls and walls of layered, distorted guitars. But throughout the entire experience, there is a pervading sense of harmony stemming from the album’s surprising unification of just about every style that it employs. From the way that ‘Time Won’t Mind’ resplendently erupts about two minutes in to the church organs and brass orchestra that close out ‘For Your Health’, the record is packed with unforgettable tunes, surprising twists, and transcendent atmospheres that never let up. The two best examples may be ‘Crimes’ and ‘Wake’, the first of which is driven by a sinister chord progression and 1920’s-styled classical piano, while the second revels in an uplifting chorus that floats just above the jarring, discordant electric riffs that saw through the air. Still, the album's whole is greater than the sum of its parts, with every single track contributing something unique and completely essential. For those who enjoy a murky, challenging, but ultimately uplifting listen, Burn the Boats
is an album that shouldn’t be permitted to fall between the cracks.