Review Summary: Interesting, diverse and eschewing easy categorisation, Reverse The Curse's debut is a masterpiece.
If anyone tells you Reverse the Curse sound like Brand New, they really don't. Whilst admittedly the comparison sparked my initial interest, there's little here that sounds like any era of Lacey's ever evolving outfit, be it Deja's wordy emo confessionals or the abrasive noise-rock of Daisy.
Opener 'Bell, Book & Candle' is more akin to indie rock titans …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead's 'Relative Ways' than anything by Long Island's finest. And on 'Seasons', vocalist Ed Starcher channels Planes Mistaken for Stars' Gared O'Donnell when he bellows 'seasons, you just start to end' in a painfully raw roar.
Moving beyond comparisons 'Bathers' is an early album highlight with Starcher crooning 'soon you'll kill all the things I love' before returning to his throaty yell during the unexpectedly catchy chorus. 'Serotonin' is the most straightforward offering but also the most redundant, its jangly guitar lines and pop-punk chorus feeling determinedly out of place. Luckily, it is immediately countered by 'Seasons', a crushing, mid-tempo dirge - both the heaviest track on Hither & Yon and a strong contender for the best. 'Emitter' ends the record, initially subdued, swathed in southern twang, it erupts for one final minute of fury with Starcher repeatedly yelling 'wait, I've made trades that turned heaven into space'.
Hither & Yon is a genuinely diverse record, compelling, mature and avoiding easy characterisation but you're unlikely to cherry-pick tracks for play-lists or repeat listens. It feels like an album and requires patient and attentive listening. This is not a criticism, merely a warning for those seeking this decade's 'Jude Law and a Semester Abroad'. You certainly won't find it here.