HRVRD
From the Bird's Cage


4.5
superb

Review

by Alex Trinkner CONTRIBUTOR (73 Reviews)
February 19th, 2013 | 224 replies


Release Date: 02/13/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Shedding their post-hardcore skin, HRVRD embraces their indie-rock and progressive tendencies to create a truly brilliant sophomore record

It probably comes as a surprise to many that the band formally known as Harvard has actually been around for nine years. With only two completed full lengths through this young 2013, HRVRD has not released nearly enough music to appease their ever growing fanbase. 2009’s The Inevitable and I, while not altogether groundbreaking, was meet with much critical acclaim, a fact not overlooked by the band. So with the obvious pressure bestowed upon this young (in terms of musical output) band, it would have been completely understandable if their second release was more or less a carbon copy of their first offering. Thankfully that did not happen, as on HRVRD’s second full length release From the Bird’s Cage listeners are treated to a uniquely beautiful work of art rather than The Inevitable and I Pt. II.

Inevitably this release will be compared to the likes of Circa Survive or other progressive giants, but From the Bird’s Cage is so much more than that. This release is an album Anthony Green wishes he could create. With their second release, HRVRD have decided to focus more on visceral soundscapes and haunting melodies, with tremendous results. The soothing and young vocals of Jessie Clasen are the focal point, and deservedly so. With lyrics that drive and melodies that sooth, it is obvious that Clasen and company have really hit their stride on this release. Whether it be the trombone present on the chilling outro of Kids With Fake Guns or the stunningly beautiful piano found through the entire album closer Eva Brucke, nothing ever seems out of place, as every song flows seamlessly into the next. This sense of cohesion is truly surprising, especially for a band who has only released two full length albums.

Where The Inevitable and I lost credibility through a general lack of refinement and overabundance of ideas, From the Bird’s Cage at no point drags on and at no point leads listeners to start questioning the creative control. Cut down to only 10 tracks, with no song reaching the six minute mark it seems HRVRD have managed to trim the fat , and focus on creating songs that hold attention throughout. But that is not to say that throughout this release ideas are underdeveloped. The immense variety of instrumentation and varied song structures in every track can attest to this. Album highlight Cardboard Houses best exemplifies this, as the song starts off with acoustic guitar and ends with a sailing tremolo section with beautiful vocals, perfectly placed keys/piano, and driving drums between. With biting lyrics coupled with all that is mentioned previously, this song serves as perfect indicator of HRVRD’s new sonic approach.

Focusing more on the flow of the record than individual songs, From the Bird’s Cage manages to create a record worth much more than a mere casual listen. For a band that has released less than 25 songs HRVRD has matured beyond their contemporaries and released a record that should set the standards for releases this year. With exclusively ‘downtempo’ songs From the Bird's Cage is a moody affair through the entire 10 tracks and, if given a close enough listen, will hopefully challenge the listener to remember why they listen to music in the first place.

Call for the blood of your leaders, cardboard homes for your people



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In dropping their previous leanings, HRVRD creates an incredibly moody and intricate album that full...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
atrink
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The album is streaming on spotify, if anyone is interested. It also was released physically today.

This is an amazing record.

Calc
February 19th 2013


12186 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah its pretty good. i like the closer a lot


Digging: Jizue - Shiori

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's probably one of my favorite songs i've heard so far this year. That and Cardboard Houses

elephantREVOLUTION
February 19th 2013


2744 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

pretty sure it's cardboard homes for your people

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah that would make more sense. lol

But wasn't there a review for this a few days ago?

alachlahol
February 19th 2013


7489 Comments


circa survive ripoff but its ok

alachlahol
February 19th 2013


7489 Comments


and then i read this

Inevitably this release will be compared to the likes of Circa Survive


and then this

or other progressive giants


TooLateToGoBack
February 19th 2013


1764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

pos'd

loving the hell out of this album.

Digging: Pianos Become the Teeth - Keep You

UnnamedOcean
February 19th 2013


3966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Need to download this. Already streamed it once. Was great.

ABjordanMM
February 19th 2013


1406 Comments


Good review as always. checking this out right now.

Digging: Manchester Orchestra - Hope

c0ffee
February 19th 2013


279 Comments


I'm a bit of a Circa nut, but I generally don't enjoy bands that sound like Circa. BUT, I was able to get into The Inevitable and I, so I imagine I'll like this, especially after your description of the album.

I liked Jesse's folk project, The Bear Romantic. He has one of those higher register voices that doesn't irk me--it's strange in an attractive kind of way.

drasticaction74
February 19th 2013


1736 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

yeah it's sweet

Digging: L666N - Exposure To Japanese Porn

Cygnatti
February 19th 2013


21352 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I do not like circa survive at all.

Digging: Jon Hopkins - Immunity

chesse13
February 19th 2013


3095 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

if this is like circa survive then i'll love this. i totally forgot they had an album coming this year

Digging: iamthemorning - Belighted

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2013


50362 Comments


I hope you applied for contributor


Digging: Viper the Rapper - You'll Cowards Don't Even Smoke Crack

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@alachlahol This one is actually me just wording it wrong. I'm trying to say they will be compared to progressive greats, not that circa survive is a "progressive giant"

@coffe I can't say I even knew he had a side project, is it anything like this?

@trebor Yeah i applied for contributor. I don't think I'll get it, but it was worth a shot lol

CasinoColumbus
February 19th 2013


340 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

downloading this naow. pretty excited.

UnnamedOcean
February 19th 2013


3966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I should note that it's actually a Trombone in Kids With Fake Guns.

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Is it? I could have sworn it was a trumpet. I think i need to brush up on my brass instruments.. So is it a trombone on the other tracks too then?

UnnamedOcean
February 19th 2013


3966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'd have to listen to the others, but I know it is on that song (since I play trombone). ;)



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