Towers
Bel Air Highrise Plantation


4.0
excellent

Review

by ComeToDaddy USER (18 Reviews)
September 17th, 2014 | 18 replies


Release Date: 07/13/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Another unique expression of Towers’ musical vision

In the modern musical landscape, there is rarely an album that stands out as unique. There are plenty of artists that step outside of the box, yet more often than not, the first words that pop up are ones like ‘quirky’ or ‘varied’; words that imply a sense of adventurousness in the music, but not something we haven’t heard before. Towers are one of the rare bands than can be described as genuinely different, and Full Circle was the beginning. Angular guitar lines and atonal passages were contrasted directly against melodic motifs to form a jarring but wholly refreshing take on metalcore. Moving forward with their swansong Bel Air Highrise Plantation, Towers have constructed an album even further afield. Incorporating more absurd guitar effects, increasing emphasis on their screamo and noise influences while completely warping typical song structure, they have ended their career with a complex and difficult listen, but a rewarding one nonetheless.

Finding words to describe exactly what makes this album so unique is an impossible task. From the abrasive noise rock of the title track, to the grimy discordant riffing of ‘Hollywood Babylon’ and the slow-burning intensity of ‘Pacific Highway Dead End’, Towers take whatever format best expresses their musical vision and wraps it all together in a concise package, playing every style with undeniable prowess. Despite developing a penchant for convoluted genre-hopping intensity throughout the first 5 tracks, the 12 minute closing track (that takes up nearly half of the albums runtime) still manages to fly in the face of expectation. Opting for a relatively linear formula, it starts from nothing but cicada chirps and builds from there, introducing guitar feedback and a simple drum line that builds until the absolutely monumental climax that ends the album.

There is no discernible structure to these songs; there are no catchy hooks, no choruses and almost no discernible lyrics. Each song simply begins, then winds to its conclusion in a completely different manner to the track before it. Though all of these unpredictable elements can often blindside the listener, the album still manages to avoid sounding calculated or mechanical. Each passage feels genuine and important to the albums message, and even being unsure of what exactly that message is, the listener can feel an impact from the music. The musicians play their heart out, with one of the most impressively varied guitar performances in recent memory, an extraordinarily expressive drummer wailing on his kit and complicated bass lines weaving in and out of view. The dual vocals, while not possessing a particularly impressive range, are mixed and altered extremely well and fit the album like a glove. Similarly, Steve Roche’s production is perfect for the raw sound of Towers, and contributes greatly to the album’s sincerity.

Bel Air Highrise Plantation covers an enormous amount of ground in its brief 28 minute runtime. Though consuming a large portion of the album with a single linear song was a questionable decision, the brevity of the album works in its favour, cutting back on most unnecessary content and ensuring that it packs a tight punch. Towers have successfully honed their sensibilities to produce their best album in the final moments together as a band, and this will stand as the culmination of both their career and their undeniably unique musical stylings.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
ComeToDaddy
September 17th 2014


259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

On first listen I gave this a 3, by the time I started writing the review it was a 3.5 and by the end it became a 4. Was a grower for sure, really excellent album just like their last. Feedback is welcomed and appreciated

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

SeaAnemone
September 17th 2014


20321 Comments


oh hell yea
this is a top 5 record of the year and sputnik probably doesn't care ~ugh~

Digging: Holy Sons - Lost Decade II

YakNips
September 17th 2014


10896 Comments


i care

this is amazing

Digging: Yung Lean - Unknown Memory

bakkermaarten007
September 17th 2014


3516 Comments


I remember not caring for full circle. Should I give this one a try then?

SeaAnemone
September 17th 2014


20321 Comments


depends on why you didn't like full circle I guess
which is an egregious sin per se tbh

Wizard
September 17th 2014


19409 Comments


Challenge to you, write a neg review!

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Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
September 17th 2014


50380 Comments


sweet

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JohnnyOnTheSpot
September 17th 2014


767 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome, pos

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Lethean
September 17th 2014


176 Comments


still need to bump

Digging: Life Exposed - Grim Existence

ComeToDaddy
September 17th 2014


259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sorry Wiz, I'm way more motivated to write reviews of great underplayed albums. Only one I can think of that I'd bother writing a neg review up for is the new Novembers Doom, not many other albums that disappointed me this year that don't already have a review

This one is pretty different to Full Circle, can't go amiss trying it out

bakkermaarten007
September 17th 2014


3516 Comments


Okay, I will check this out. Pos btw

FigNewtns
September 17th 2014


721 Comments


fuck yes, i thought these cats were never gonna release new material! bummer that this is it though.

that last track is my favorite atm

ComeToDaddy
September 17th 2014


259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah most of this was actually recorded just after Full Circle, took forever to release it though. Last song is crazy good

FigNewtns
September 17th 2014


721 Comments


do you know if the members of this band are going on to do anything else? iirc some of them were in Elder

ComeToDaddy
September 17th 2014


259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No idea. I had a look around after I found out they were releasing this, but it was basically Steve Roche pulling the songs off a shelf and mixing them, no news on the musicians activities

chesse13
September 18th 2014


3176 Comments


Haven't listened cause I didn't find a download but I really need one

Digging: iamthemorning - Belighted

GhettoHmbrglr
September 18th 2014


579 Comments


this is rad

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
September 18th 2014


3768 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So upset that these guys are done. This kicks so much ass.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor



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