And So I Watch You From Afar
All Hail Bright Futures


2.5
average

Review

by Dan H. CONTRIBUTOR (55 Reviews)
March 19th, 2013 | 35 replies


Release Date: 03/19/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: And So I Watch You, Adebisi Shank.

Distinguishable as one of the leading bands in the modern post-rock scene, And So I Watch You From Afar deliver both alluring atmospheres and crashing tirades of guitars to form simply delicious albums, crammed full of carefully balanced technicality and brutality stamped with their distinct energetic style. The initial tirade withstanding, their self titled debut channelled their ambient influences, whilst the 2011 follow-up Gangs saw a brasher, denser style characterised by frenetic guitar work. In their quest to produce a poppier, bouncier album, And So I Watch You From Afar have emulated Adebisi Shank’s winsome style - but unfortunately they don’t quite have the boundless vitality to pull it off. What All Hail Bright Futures ultimately achieves is a blurring of styles between themselves and their contemporaries, and they've come dangerously close to losing their identity in the process.

The problem with criticizing And So I Watch You From Afar is that even though they've almost completely abandoned their signature sound, they've still managed to craft an album full of toe tapping and at times, first pumping melodies. They've largely shelved their successful formula, and yet there are still moments of brilliance scattered throughout which shine and counteract the uninspired. The biggest irritation this raises however is that they’re capable of a much higher level of consistency. Whether it’s the delicate string and trumpet combination on “Trails” which makes up for the cringe-worthy intro to “Ka Ba Ta Bo Da Ka” or the excellent dual guitar work on “Like A Mouse” which counteracts the underwhelming “Eunoia,” they show that their ear for melody hasn't deserted them. The problem is that these moments struggle and compete with inferior moments for your attention, and they often come out second best.

Considering that the only vocals used on their previous efforts were a “woo” here and a “hey” there, the oft-included, ill-advised contributions on All Hail Bright Futures unsurprisingly emerge as the greatest drawback. Whether they were added with sing-a-longs and live performances in mind or whether the band is genuinely trying to evolve, they seem incompatible and frankly feel out of place. All Hail Bright Futures is a surprising misstep from a band that has gone off the beaten track in order to diversify their sound: a detour which has only led to them sounding more like everybody else.



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user ratings (206)
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3.5
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And So I Watch You From Afar up their quirkiness to an almost unbearable degree, but have lost a lot...


Comments:Add a Comment 
McOshea
March 19th 2013


139 Comments


stalker band name

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 19th 2013


10383 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

I may have to write a counterpoint to you guys' reviews in the near future, because I think this is by far the greatest thing they've done yet.

Digging: Thou - Heathen

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2013


1051 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Definitely do. I wanted to like this, I really expected to.

This was my attempt at a slightly shorter review. Feedback appreciated.

Digging: The Hotelier - Home, Like NoPlace Is There

InfamousGrouse
March 19th 2013


3593 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Incidentally, I really like this album and hate Abebisi Shank.

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2013


1051 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

That's surprising, but interesting. What did you like most about this?

DrGonzo1937
March 19th 2013


6848 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Don't agree, but I see what you're getting at. Vocals just don't work in this band though.

Great review though. Pos'd.

Digging: Marilyn Manson - The Pale Emperor

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2013


1051 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Much appreciated, Gonzo. Without the vocals I think my rating would be higher.

DrGonzo1937
March 19th 2013


6848 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Aye, I can see why it'd hinder a score. I just think the music is very strong, so it stays a pretty good score. But yeah, I hope they learn they aren't a vocal band. haha

Spec
March 19th 2013


27298 Comments


Oh come on.

InfamousGrouse
March 19th 2013


3593 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think what I like most about All Hail Bright Futures is that, while s/t and Gangs are both good records, I felt they exhausted their source of ideas over the span of the LP; whereas this comes across as a little more diverse and entertaining without losing their creative zest that made them stand out in the first place. Basically, I can sit through this album quite easily- a task which I previously struggled with ASIWYFA





VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2013


1051 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Solid points, you should give it a positive write up.

WeepingBanana
March 19th 2013


10217 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Correct rating

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2013


22059 Comments


^^^

Digging: Andy Stott - Faith in Strangers

tacos N stuff
March 19th 2013


400 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

album is meh but not gonna lie, the cover art is really nice

Digging: IDYLLS - Prayer for Terrene

BrushedRed
March 19th 2013


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's weird that everyone thinks is their worst, whenever I think it's their best. I didn't like the self titled or Gangs but this is awesome! Way better.

theshelfmaster
March 20th 2013


221 Comments


I think they could definitely be awesome with vocals I just don't think a lot of the vocal parts on this album were done that well

sailSAway
March 23rd 2013


900 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

trying hard not to overate this album. it's been on repeat in my itunes. like it a lot!

Dunpeal
March 26th 2013


3801 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ppl making way too much out of the vocals. obviously they aren't meant to outshine the instrumentals. i mean they're pretty much the same in every track

Digging: Aspherium - The Veil of Serenity

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
March 26th 2013


22059 Comments


I thought the vocals were one of the good things on here

Dunpeal
March 26th 2013


3801 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

for me it's a welcome addition relative to their past works. cool to hear 'em trying something different



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