Review Summary: Modern acoustic driven rock minus any identity crisis...1 of 1 thought this review was well written
Countless modern rock bands release albums every couple of years with the same reaction from critics; sort out your identity problems. Identity crises are one of the main factors that many modern rock bands face on their albums and this indecisiveness usually cripples the album beyond repair. The albums to which I am referring typically alternate between cheap, trashy cock-rock and the lighter attempted love ballads. When bands change directions so frequently from track to track the one album is robbed of its integrity and absolute all of its fluency. So naturally when I heard of the Los Angeles natives Angels Fall who wrote nothing but acoustic driven soft alternative rock, I was pleased to finally find a band not hiding behind any masks and solely focusing on the one aspect of rock they truly enjoyed.
Angels Fall debut album Yesterdays Gone is driven by front man Joel Jorgensen who plays lead acoustic guitar and backs it up with his gravelly yet smooth vocals. Jorgensen is a self confessed bloke who enjoys writing about love and believes each song acts as some form of closure for his past. Yesterdays Gone kicks off with the slow rocker ‘Angel’ which is a great mid-tempo stride along catchy melodic vocals and tight musicianship. Immediately you can feel a sense of catchiness from the overall arrangement of the track and nothing about the music is over the top, it feels extremely natural and comes across soothingly. ‘Call On Me’ picks up the pace a little more and throws some strings in for good measure. Some big drumming moments add to the effectiveness of this song and the lasting impression it leaves you with. ‘Call On Me’ features a steady heartfelt romp and accurately depicts Jorgensen’s intentions to craft songs that ‘allow listeners to attach their own memories too.’ The vocal melodies found here are really strong and feature a number of catchy hooks, guaranteed to hold onto you. ‘Closure’ is another strong cut from the album that sees Jorgensen pushing his vocals to the extreme and again showing his prowess for writing a catchy number. Although ‘Closure’ might not strike you right away, before you know it you will be humming it and enjoying its many nuances.
The remainder of Yesterdays Gone is much of the same, so if you like what you’ve already heard you’ll love the rest. Angels Fall never really changes their formula much, but if it’s not broken then why fix it? Perhaps two of the strongest tracks are ‘Drunk Enough’ and ‘Goodbye To You’ when the band gets a little more aggressive and upbeat. ‘Drunk Enough’ is a emotional rocker about the realisation of a love that is coming to an end and sees Jorgensen’s vocals gather an edge whilst remaining melodic. The next track ‘Goodbye To You’ keeps the momentum following and is hand down the best song on the entire album. Acoustic guitar opens the song accompanied by an infectious drum beat, which builds up to the huge arena sized chorus, which features the catchiest and most up tempo moment on the album. These collections of songs have an even deeper meaning when you consider the fact that lead singer Joel Jorgensen was in a freak accident at the age of 19 when lightning struck his home whilst he was playing guitar which almost made it unable for him to use his hands again. Being unable to play music, he began focusing on singing and vocal melodies, which ultimately drives Yesterdays Gone.
Yesterdays Gone by Angels Fall is a refreshing stab at modern rock that for once doesn’t hide behind any masks. The album is brimming with slow acoustic driven rock that at times verges on pop and a couple of slow solely acoustic numbers at the end of the record tie up things nicely. The only thing holding back Yesterdays Gone is that there are a number of tracks that leave no real last impression at all. Sometimes the lyrics and musicianship does sound a bit tired as well, but ultimately this can be overlooked for the whole arrangement of the track itself. Fans of modern rock should definitely give these guys a look for the simple fact that they have a lot more heart than what is currently on the market.