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.