From Indian Lakes
Absent Sounds


4.0
excellent

Review

by ProjectFreak USER (27 Reviews)
October 19th, 2014 | 34 replies


Release Date: 2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Like a well-oiled machine

What does potential sound like? It's easy to see in some things. You know the signs of budding intelligence, athletic talent, business savvy and charisma. But what tells you that a band has potential? It's much trickier to describe, but From Indian Lakes had it in spades on their breakthrough Able Bodies -- you heard it in every near-voice crack from Joey Vannuchi, in every massive chorus and chilling lyric. Unfortunately, Absent Sounds is not the culmination of that potential -- but it's not the squandering of it, either. It's neither better nor worse than their last -- but it makes me all the more excited for the band's future.

It's immediately apparent that this is much more subdued than Able Bodies. The dashes of post-hardcore influence are basically gone, replaced with piano and very subtle electronic effects garnishing the core of Brand New meets Manchester Orchestra. It's all very organic and lush this time around, thanks largely to a different mixing approach. It's no longer just about Vannuchi's vocals -- Absent Sounds is much more of a group effort, with drums taking a surprisingly large share of the spotlight. The drum grooves are subtly complex but infectious, and the splashy cymbals refine the already beautiful atmosphere.

So what's the downside? The lack of the urgency and sincerity of Able Bodies. When that album was firing on all cylinders, there was a desperation, a sense that Vannuchi's heart was about to burst and he meant every word. Granted, it didn't fire on all cylinders all the time, while Absent Sounds is impressively consistent. But I'd be willing to swallow some valleys if it meant peaks like "'Til I Can Walk" and "Your Son" came back.

But for the time being, we songs have the beautiful opener, "Come in This Light." This slow-burning prelude's swirling pads highlight Vannuchi's gorgeous falsetto nicely, drawing the listener in before the crunchy "Label This Love" hits. "Breathe, Desperately" hearkens back to the previous album more than any other track with its driving chorus and soaring melody, but adds a welcome touch of piano in its brief instrumental stanzas. Lead single "Ghost" is another highlight, with masterful dynamics and another big chorus complementing Vannuchi's bitter contemplations ("How could I let you see? It's so hard to love anything/ Now I'm a ghost of what I once was").

A renewed focus on diversity in songwriting works wonders here -- "Am I Alive," driven by hand claps and earthy percussion, loses no energy when its guitars are unplugged. However, putting the slow-starting "Awful Things" and the sparse, sleepy "Runner" next to each other in the tracklist may have been a mistake -- they're two of the album's weakest tracks and they kill a good deal of momentum. Fortunately, closer "Fog," while certainly no "'Till I Can Walk," is a master class in dynamics and pacing, teasing the listener for what feels like ages before finally erupting in a triumphant race to the finish.

There's no denying that From Indian Lakes's third album is a more mature, cohesive effort. The musical growth is massive, and the songwriting has improved by leaps and bounds -- and the lyrics no longer consist entirely of rhetorical questions! But now all the band needs is for Vannuchi to recapture the poignancy of his previous work and bring back his flair for the dramatic. If he does that, we may have a classic on our hands -- and I don't say that lightly. Potential, once again, sounds like the latest From Indian Lakes album.



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user ratings (179)
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
travissmock (3.5)
"Now I'm a Ghost of what I once was"...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Calc
Contributing Reviewer
October 20th 2014


16356 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fantastic album

Digging: Crimeapple - Viridi Panem

oldsoul
October 20th 2014


286 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Spot on review

Digging: Royal Coda - Compassion

zmol
October 24th 2014


39 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I agree mostly, except I actually adore Runner and Awful Things! Great album but not quite Able Bodies.

ProjectFreak
October 26th 2014


3960 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I don't dislike any song on here, really. But some track has to be the album's worst.



I think I agree with you, zmol. This is very consistent, mature and polished -- but it lacks the instantly memorable moments of Able Bodies.

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
November 2nd 2014


16356 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i think this will be my winter go to album. like every song on this piece

stevo
November 3rd 2014


2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

listening...

ProjectFreak
November 4th 2014


3960 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

This band in general is pretty wintery. If I was living in the mid-Atlantic again and not South Florida I might like this even more.

stevo
November 7th 2014


2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

these band is my new favorite now..their music is amazingly creative..

NorwichScene
November 10th 2014


2989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Another great band found thanks to Sputnik!

SpoonerMcgee
November 10th 2014


106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Completely addicting CD. Another great one from them

ProjectFreak
November 11th 2014


3960 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Glad you guys all like it -- if you're new, you should check out Able Bodies too

NorwichScene
November 12th 2014


2989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Able Bodies awesome too. Think I slightly prefer it to this overall

yawnathan
December 19th 2014


5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, but I have one correction to make. While this album may feel like more of a group effort, From Indian Lakes is actually a one man show in the studio. Joey Vannucchi recorded all of the instruments for this album, as he has for all of them in the past. He has a background in jazz drumming, believe it or not, and it really shows on this album.

ABjordanMM
December 19th 2014


1720 Comments


This album finally clicked. I knew it would.

MuhNamesTyler
January 2nd 2015


6553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Holy fuck I had no idea a new album even came out, downloading now.

Digging: Vatican - Sole Impulse

NorwichScene
January 2nd 2015


2989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love this band. Thank you Sputnik

MuhNamesTyler
January 2nd 2015


6553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Same

MuhNamesTyler
January 3rd 2015


6553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"The dashes of post-hardcore influence are basically gone"



This is very true and also sad. Idk how I feel about this album yet, it definitely doesn't grab me like their previous works. We'll see what some more listens do I suppose

ProjectFreak
January 16th 2015


3960 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

" Joey Vannucchi recorded all of the instruments for this album,"



Dangit, stop doing your homework and making me look bad! What I meant to say was, it feels less like Joey Vannucchi's Voice Featuring Some Instruments (which Able Bodies sometimes felt like) and more like a cohesive band.



Tyler, I agree, it's definitely not a very immediate album. But it's a grower for sure.

Storm In A Teacup
April 6th 2015


26916 Comments


I'm listening to The Man With Wooden Legs (and have been since it originally came out), such a great album. Just realized I never checked out Able Bodies and I thought they broke up after that. I guess I have to check out Able Bodies and this. Looks like i can expect both of them to live up to The Man With Wooden Legs.



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