Review Summary: Envy are a dead sinking story.
When was the last time you actually thought about Envy? I don’t mean that as in the last time you listened to their music, but rather, when you remembered that they were an actual band. If you’re like me it’s been, well, five years. Which of course was when their last album, Recitation
dropped to lukewarm reception. Yet this has always been the case with Envy, a band consistently on the back burner. Sure there’s been acclaim, but the band has been miles away from being a household name. They’re like that band you love to rep when you’ve got nothing else to talk about; a tertiary bullet point whenever the one talks about emo or post hardcore or whatever.
That was Envy then and this is Envy now.
is an album to be immediately forgotten. It’s decidedly Envy, albeit with a little more panache than their 2010 effort. The emo-cum-post rock band have “found their roots” so to speak and returned with the more aggressive and straight forward style that defined their early years. But the problem here is that their early stuff wasn’t very…well, good
. What it accomplished, however, was the creation of a powerful and affecting sound that really stirred some emotions. It was messy and juvenile but ultimately really fun and genuine. This has been lost for years.
Envy are really, really dull.
All the Footprints…
exists as a pinnacle to the band’s career; a perfect, if accidental, melding of the emotive hardcore sound with stirring post rock flourishes. It worked despite the band’s iffy track record regarding both disparaging sounds Atheist’s Cornea
attempts to capture this feeling once more by placing emphasis on cathartic anger and pain but without the immediacy or passion. Tetsuya Fukagawa sounds more vanilla than ever which makes everything so placid that the entire album sloughs off the ears. With only two levels -- yelling and talking (which must make for some interesting conversation in real life), Fukagawa never portrays the music as anything other than banal noise.
is largely nice. It’s predictable and easy, but that’s what makes it nice. Even a five year break cannot change what Envy is, which should come as a comfort. The song structures have been mixed up just a tad, with “Blue Moonlight” standing out as a very straight forward post hardcore track that blazes on by with little pretense. “Ignorant Rain and the End of the World” and “An Insignificant Poem” follow suit with a couple of blistering moments that offer up a little excitement as well. These are sprinkled around Envy’s old bag of tricks that include long, ethereal post-rock tracks. Like before, these offer little in the way of emotional profundity. The strings and lush arrangements could not be more phoned in as the band masturbates Mono’s later discography. These tracks of moderate length are dull and lack any sort of imagination or emotional intensity. Each one stands as a stark metaphor for Envy as a whole.
I could prattle on about how awkward the mixing is or how choppy the tracklist has been set up, but none of that really matters when the music that was written is so painfully uninspired. Envy are a dead sinking story. No more, no less.