And So I Watch You From Afar
Heirs


4.0
excellent

Review

by paradox1216 EMERITUS
May 5th, 2015 | 50 replies


Release Date: 05/04/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Post-rock for the ADD crowd.

When I say the phrase “post-rock”, it probably conjures all sorts of stereotypes in your head – a slow, melodic burn of atmospheric ambience building towards an explosion of energy that brings the song to a close. While the endings are often exhilarating, the rest of the songs in question are peaceful and usually decidedly non-complex. And So I Watch You From Afar break nearly all of these rules. They pride themselves on fast guitar work and energetic tempos, but manage to elicit exactly the same ethereal feelings as any of their slower contemporaries. Their last album, All Hail Bright Futures, saw them trading their chaotic approach for something a bit more tempered, as well as bringing in gang vocals and utilizing them often. It was a nice departure from the norm and a pleasant sign of the group’s maturation, but fans missed the intensity of their earlier works. Apparently, the band did too, because Heirs is a partial return to the frantic guitars and fast tempos of the group’s beginnings, while still maintaining the dynamic diversity they’ve gained.

This is easily exemplified with the hyperactive opener “Run Home”, which features an excellent shred section near the beginning with a unique, high-treble tone to give it character. It gives way to a quieter, echoy section in the middle, like you’ve driven your motorcycle off a huge cliff and the world is slowing down around you. The bizarre pacing works, and by the song’s ending you’re completely prepared for what the band has to throw at you.

And throw they will: “Wasps” is a perfect blend of stylish guitars and atmosphere that would be perfect for any cliff-gazing playlist. “People Not Sleeping” has a dancy groove and chord progressions/vocal melodies that feel almost like they were picked out of a Steely Dan song. The title track “Heirs” builds magically over its seven minutes, becoming so gracefully intense and beautiful that the only way to properly enjoy it would be suspended in midair over the most scenic area you can think of. There’s a lot of variation in tone and tempo, but the album feels very cohesive and each track is working from the same playbook and toolset.

Heirs is one those albums that has a cover that perfectly depicts the place it mentally transports you to. The artwork shows a lone astronaut, drifting through an apocalyptic land with another planet or moon approaching so close that the waters have engulfed the mountains. And although the intensity of the situation is undeniable, all the astronaut can do is look down and see the beauty evident in it all. Heirs is And So I Watch You From Afar’s most mature effort yet, marrying relentlessness and relaxation in a way that should attract even those who usually don’t like the genre.



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user ratings (150)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
VheissuCrisis EMERITUS (3)
Neither here nor there....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Sevengill
May 4th 2015


7400 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nice concise review. I'll probably give this a listen, and would surely give you a pos.

paradox1216
Emeritus
May 4th 2015


730 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Second review as a contributor! Didn't spend quite as much time on this review but there's not as much to go over as there was with DGD.



Album can be streamed here: https://asiwyfa.bandcamp.com/album/heirs-2



This might not win over people who reeeallllyyy didn't like their last album (I thought it was pretty awesome), but I think pretty much everyone can accept that it's more awesome. These guys are just brilliant in the first place.

paradox1216
Emeritus
May 4th 2015


730 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Sevengill! You'll like it if you've already heard/like these guys, and probably even if you haven't

Lambda
May 4th 2015


2654 Comments


I don't really get how this band is post-rock at all besides the fact that they are (usually) instrumental

Sevengill
May 4th 2015


7400 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Can't say I've heard them, but I've been generally aware of their existence xD I've not delved much into post-rock, but it has a lot of ingredients I ought to enjoy.

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
May 4th 2015


6362 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

"the place it mentally transports you to"

:/ wish i could say this. found the album a real chore



anyway, nice review, Dan. your stuff is usually pretty enthusiastic, but professional in tone. you also balance song descriptions with creative insight, which is a good way to be

paradox1216
Emeritus
May 4th 2015


730 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Lambda yeah this band has a lot of elements of other genres. and post-rock is sorta like post-hardcore IMO - there's a lot of different ways for it to sound, and it can get confusing really quick. I can see a lot of traditional post-rock elements in this record, though, so if a lot of people are calling it that I won't argue with them.

VaxXi
May 4th 2015


4135 Comments


Vocalist hasnt sold me yet... but the instrumental stuff is nice

paradox1216
Emeritus
May 4th 2015


730 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

At least you have HK Johnny, your review and CHON's recommendation of them on their AMA is gonna have me check that out really soon =o



yeah, I find that I write a lot of happy reviews. and I always try to prioritize describing the sound of specific tracks to give an idea of the diversity (I am trying to do it in a less formulaic way though). Bands used to release different singles to do that to promote it, so if I like something I try to use that method to convince people to listen

Funeralopolis
May 5th 2015


14078 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

band is math rock and not really post rock much at all yea

Digging: Dyscarnate - With All Their Might

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
May 5th 2015


8449 Comments


couldn't find anything too out of order on first read, great review!

Digging: Fever Ray - Plunge

Jade
Emeritus
May 5th 2015


10698 Comments


can we maybe talk about the album itself instead of what arbitrary genre tag we think fits it best

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
May 5th 2015


15783 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

or we can call it math rock cuz thats what it is.

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
May 5th 2015


8449 Comments


can we maybe talk about the album itself instead of what arbitrary genre tag we think fits it best [2]

never have truer words been spoken

Sevengill
May 5th 2015


7400 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Not loving this but generally enjoying it. Vocals don't fit for me but the songs are energetic and interesting. Was worth a listen and will probably come back.

LordePots
May 5th 2015


38089 Comments


can we maybe talk about the album itself instead of what arbitrary genre tag we think fits it best


or they can discuss the genre if thats what they want to do and u can shut up

Digging: Alyss - Motherland

Sevengill
May 5th 2015


7400 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think that means "no"

LordePots
May 5th 2015


38089 Comments


and for the record this band does math rock AND post rock



Sevengill
May 5th 2015


7400 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Two genres in one band? No one can live at that speed!

LordePots
May 5th 2015


38089 Comments


impossible!!!



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