Review Summary: An EP with the ambitions of a concept album, for better or worse.
Folk is a genre of music that has begun to permeate too many other genres to accurately keep up with. It makes sense though. All folk really amounts to at the end of the day is a regional flavor, so it stands to reason that adding it to whichever style of music you decide to play will give said style an air of originality. As music as an art form marches relentlessly onward with no sympathy for those that cannot keep up, saying that originality is important is ridiculous in its redundancy. Music’s evolution has found a key weapon in folk.
Adventure the Great discovered a Darwinian combination of Classical and folk that is only somewhat underdeveloped here on their debut self-titled EP. Adventure the Great
has ambitions larger than some albums three times its length. Every song on the EP contains a texture and style all its own, but they also work together as a whole for the most part. It is at its core singer/songwriter tinged folk music, but its backdrop of symphonic strings uplift it to a level that exists beyond that. Its style and feel is an unusual experience, and its originality should be heralded. There are times throughout, however, that might showcase a band that is a little too aware of this fact. Songs can drag here and there, because they want you to revel in their beauty perhaps a bit too long.
Lyrically, the album shines. Most of the songs are based on a season. The singer cycles through Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Spring. What keeps it interesting though, is his reversed view of their typical cliches. Where most people see Summer as the pinnacle of life, here it is portrayed as miserable and exhausting; its corresponding song’s chorus even revolves around the threat of a murder/suicide. Spring is not seen as a time of new beginnings, but as something to fear and even steer clear of. Autumn is not seen as the beginning of the end, but rather as a relief and a stairway to a much anticipated Winter. And “Bold as Winter” tops out this role reversal by being the most uplifting song on the album. It portrays a time that keeps you moving because it is cold and inspires with its minimalist beauty.
Adventure the Great were off to a formidable start with this debut’s release. They have a sound that is easily distinguishable from the ever growing landscape of their musical competition. If they use this as a stepping stone to hone their skills and move forward to even more experimental soundscapes, then there is no telling how far it will take their art.
Ides of March
Autumn, Autumn, Autumn
The Old Man of the Mountain