Review Summary: Take One Car up their game and display a mature if inconsistent sophomore album.
For a genre as diverse as it is, there has been stagnation in the number of quality post-hardcore releases in recent years. Having lived out its peak in the early noughties, the recent hiatuses of various big name bands within the genre have created large gaps in a once saturated market, and one band who deserve their shot at taking the limelight are New York four-piece Take One Car. Having released their debut album When the Ceiling Meets the Floor
back in 2009, Take One Car have been creating serious buzz ever since; known for their progressive song structures and daring ambition, both of which manifest themselves prominently in their follow up sophomore album It’s Going to be a Nice Day
As ambient as it is brutal, It’s Going to be a Nice Day
takes the post hardcore mould and tears it up before remoulding it to suit the band’s needs. The eponymous opener is a sprawling seven minute instrumental with a post-rock vibe, shimmering guitar passages gradually building up to a rhythmic climax. As an opener it’s a risky move, but the atmospheric benefits outweigh the pretentiousness; by delaying the vocal introduction until second track Dear Ronnie
the impact is amplified, nullifying the slightly uninspired progression of the song. Thankfully, Dear Ronnie
is the safest song on the album; indeed at times it’s hard to predict where the band will go next such is their experimental nature. Central to this are the vocals of Tyler Irish, frenetically changing from paranoid stutter to primal screams and understated murmurs, controlling the direction of the music with every shift of his tempo and tone.
That’s not to say that the rest of the band doesn’t contribute to the album’s complexity. While album highlight The OceanSong
initially displays a strong vocal tenderness, feverish instrumental melodies soon kick-in to drive the track through its five and a half minute duration, aggressive drumming and proggy guitar riffs developing and enhancing the textures used previously. Similarly Virtue
depends on the heavy hitting, mesmeric guitar-driven intro and distorted riffs to explode into life, displaying yet more variety in their arrangements. This schizophrenic approach to song-writing adds to the diversity of the album, and yet often remains its most prominent flaw. In trying to remain unique, at times Take One Car try too hard to remain different throughout, leading to rough interactions between some tracks and a bad flow to the album. As a knock-on effect, It’s Going to be a Nice Day
often feels like a collection of individual tracks rather than a unified album, a trait displayed most glaringly by So Much in Return
as it is lost in transition between two much stronger tracks.
Minor flaws aside, however, It’s Going to be a Nice Day
is an exceptionally mature and well produced follow-up album that simultaneously offers a well-defined progression from their earlier work while retaining the expansive song structures and ambitious drive typical of the band. Though sporadically inconsistent in quality, the majority of the album displays an instrumentally sound post-hardcore act that crucially, are enjoying making music and will hopefully continue to enjoy making music for a long time to come.
Overall 4.0 Excellent