Review Summary: Throw Me Through Walls is the album you’ll discover the excellence of 5 years from now, as you wish so badly you had heard it all the way back in 2009
The misworkings of popularity and obscureness amaze me at times. I mean, I understand when that random, minimalist, and melancholy post-rock band (however talented) gets no attention from the public; but what about the other guys" What about the talented bands full of hooks and catchy, accessible songs" A City Safe From Sea comes to mind as the epitome of this tragic case. Catchy and hook-laden, Throw Me Through Walls
is certainly an absolute gem of the post-hardcore genre, an album to behold. Fresh and edgy, Throw Me Through Walls
is the album you’ll discover 5 years from now, as you wish so badly you had heard it all the way back in 2009. It’s uncanny and a bit indescribable, really: this quality that emits from A City Safe From Sea that exhibits both arm-flailing chaos and controlled serenity. A complete and utter horrible way to describe this, I know, but let’s see if I can clarify a little.
To reiterate, striking a delicate balance between noisy mayhem and catchy hooks is an awe-inspiring experience at work here on Throw Me Through Walls
. The sound is dark and dissonant at times, much like the very telling album art with mismatched colors and interesting dynamics. A City Safe From Sea don’t rely on conventional song structure, and subscribe to a more free-flowing form that allows for variety and organicity. The instrumentation also reflects this heavily, as we’re exposed to vintage guitars, funeral horns, and a variety pedal effects. Take note at how they rarely devolve into a verse-chorus-verse format, but manage to keep things exciting and fast-paced. It’s these noisy and dissonant qualities that surely give Throw Me Through Walls
that quality of anxiety.
This frantic and chaotic attribute, though, is easily overwhelmed by those damn hooks. Seriously, whether it’s the “la la la”
s on “Little White Shelves,” the echoes in the background of “Soft Duels,” or the entirely unique riff on “You and All Your Friends,” it’s absolutely painstaking to try to pinpoint a moment that strikes my fancy as they all happen to be unique and well, wonderful. Always at work alongside though, is the superb vocals. In a sense, the singer sounds like Jesse Lacey’s edgy little brother, minus the sappiness. He’s a little more accustomed to the hardships that Jesse had to deal with first- just listen to his tales of dead girlfriends on “Little White Shelves:” “All my dead friends look a lot like you / There’s no one else in the room.”
The album is laden with one-liners to compliment those glorious hooks. And while it’s not the kind of post-hardcore you’re going to ponder over trying to decipher every octave, I don’t think it’s meant to be.
A City Safe From Sea has deadly potential at their fingertips. With such a striking debut, their youthful energy and technical prowess is on full display here. It’s not the most complex or involving record, though. And if you’re anything like me, that catchy, lovable quality (no matter how catchy and lovable) is sure to wear off if there’s not enough substance to back it up. And besides the on-liners and contagious hooks, the substance behind this debut feels a bit minimal. On the other hand, in the face of such an impressive debut these complaints seem pretty high-maintenance. What I’m trying to say is, if Throw Me Through Walls
takes more than a few listens for you to love, you may want to go see the closest audiologist (ear doctor). This record is so catchy, you may want to seriously reconsider listening to it if you don’t have sufficient free time on your hands in the near future.