I the Mighty
Connector


4.0
excellent

Review

by paradox1216 EMERITUS
June 4th, 2015 | 27 replies


Release Date: 06/02/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I the Mighty stay the course Satori set them on and give us their most accessible album yet, but no songwriting skills have been sacrificed in the process.

Since I The Mighty’s little known (and now unobtainable via legal outlets) debut album in 2010, they’ve transformed from a thoughtful little pop punk outfit to one of Equal Vision’s heavy hitters, getting their own headlining tour this summer instead of tagging along on Warped Tour. Their meteoric rise isn’t something just caused by good marketing and PR – it’s been through sheer talent, legitimate emotional connections, and word-of-mouth recommendation. Vocalist Brent Walsh is a powerhouse full of feelings and likability, and he’s quite a force: it’s not every day that a label throws a considerable amount of support behind a solo album from a vocalist with a band that has only a few releases (as occurred last year with Walsh’s 7), but he’s just that talented and his group is simply just that well-liked.

It’s not really a huge surprise then that Connector is a good, solid record. It retains the more complex post-hardcore elements that were present on Satori, but focuses and builds more on the simpler, melodic side of that sound. It’s also suitably diverse, finding the band arranging an array of related styles and stamping them with their signature sound. Hardcore is represented on “Adrift”, a song that lyrically embodies the title of the record – Walsh admirably “won’t give it up until we all, we all are one” – and has a more aggressive feel that fits the serious tone. “Slow Dancing Forever” is a pop number complete with electronic percussion and backing synths, but is designed to be more introspective and spacy than upbeat or dance-worthy. Say Anything’s Max Bemis is featured on “Friends”, a post-hardcore/rock song with densely layered instrumentation and a hypnotizing verse, a charismatic chorus, and an electrifying bridge that wisely utilizes its chosen talent.

“The Frame I: Betrayal in the Watchtower” is the closing number: the final piece of a trilogy of songs that the band has interestingly chosen to release in reverse order (“The Frame III” was featured on Karma Never Sleeps, and “The Frame II” was on Satori). It’s an epic track, starting slow but building up to something bombastic, and eventually reintroducing melodies from the opening track of the album and lyrical themes from the “upcoming” songs in “The Frame” series, bringing both the story and the record to a satisfying conclusion. Lyrics for the record in general are more diverse; while Satori was unapologetically a breakup record and not too much else, Connector returns to dealing with all sorts of topics, such as betrayal, world peace, and fun, scathing critiques of various other people. Walsh’s heartfelt breakup lyrics were relatable, well-written, and touching, but it’s good to get back to seeing him write about many other topics.

The production here is beautiful, with mixing and mastering being handled by veteran Kris Crummett and production itself done by Mike Green. Guitars are huge, bass is easily audible, and Brent sits exactly where he needs to in the mix. All of this lends itself to an atmospheric, larger-than-life sound that sucks you in like a black hole, and is very necessary for this style of pop-influenced post-hardcore. Working with this sort of polish is dangerous, but Crummett and Green never overstep their boundaries, opting to create something incredible and immersive instead of obnoxious.

I the Mighty aren’t afraid of making their sound more marketable – Connector is the band’s most accessible record yet, though given the catchiness of their back catalogue that might not exactly be saying much. It’s also the group’s most diverse, featuring bursts of pop, post-hardcore, “normal” hardcore, pop punk, rock, and hell, even a bit of soul with the way Walsh works his voice. The songs are slightly more subtle than the ones on Satori, so it may take a few listens before you’re able to resonate with them, but before long you’ll be singing along to every track. Connector is an addicting album that won’t easily find its way out of your rotation, and it deserves to propel I The Mighty to even further levels of stardom.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
paradox1216
Emeritus
June 4th 2015


730 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Full album stream can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-P2j-cRMwRw&list=PL-XbTEkQt3TZ-Tvp00erMcXWW5oIl0Cwt



I hope this review isn't too sloppy, I wrote it while tired and only spent a little over a couple hours on it (which while tired amounts to much less time actually working), so any critiques are welcome.



I was worried about how this album would turn out, despite enjoying some of the singles. My first listen left me a bit disappointed, but it only took a couple more for me to absorb the songs and fall absolutely in love with it. I'm not sure I like it as much as I did Satori, but it's at least up there, and it's a good direction for them.

MonotoneMop
June 4th 2015


573 Comments


I forgot this was coming out. I miss the We Speak sound so much, but I understand why they've adapted. I liked the Coheed reference in the title of Track 3.

paradox1216
Emeritus
June 4th 2015


730 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

do you know why we speak can't be bought anymore and isn't really referenced by the band's PR or anything? You can still get Hearts and Spades and that's like half of it so idk. I just recently got a hold of a copy of We Speak and I'm very keen on hearing more of them before the polish took hold



Also, what's the coheed reference? All I noticed was the misery pun lol is that the reference? (i'm not familiar with coheed's middle period or really their lore at all haha)

MonotoneMop
June 4th 2015


573 Comments


Walsh has a Coheed tattoo and is a pretty big fan of the band. The title "The Lying Eyes of Miss Erray" is a reference to Coheed song "The Lying Lies & Dirty Secret Of Miss Erica Court".

paradox1216
Emeritus
June 4th 2015


730 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

that's cool =o you can definitely tell Walsh and probably most of the band are massive Coheed fans; they have a lot of influence from them.

henryChinaski
June 4th 2015


4163 Comments


Listening now and wondering why I still haven't properly checked out their previous stuff. You can tell these guys are really talented. I'm just gonna start with this release. Nice write-up!

Digging: Conjurer - Mire

TooLateToGoBack
June 4th 2015


1965 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

lovely record.



"playing catch with .22" has been stuck in my head for awhile now

DaveyBoy
Emeritus
June 4th 2015


22486 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review Double D (if I can call you that). Apologies for stealing your thunder, but my review will be up in 12 hours or so. Like you, it took a little while for this LP to fully sink in, but we predominantly come to the same conclusion. Also like you, for one reason or another, I found it a difficult review to write.

Danred97
June 4th 2015


2130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, okay album.

Digging: Copeland - Blushing

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
June 4th 2015


14238 Comments


yeah great review as always

try as i might i cannot stand this band so ill pass

Digging: Protomartyr - Relatives In Descent

Toondude10
June 4th 2015


13827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

meant to check these guys out but never really got the chance. we'll see how this turns out. Good review though.

Digging: Devin Townsend - Empath

Toondude10
June 4th 2015


13827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah I'm liking this a lot

Toondude10
June 4th 2015


13827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

last song is a real jam

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
June 4th 2015


16107 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

something about this band. just so meh.

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
June 4th 2015


25081 Comments


their last album was just okay... this sounds more up my alley

Digging: Secret Band - LP2

DatBeefPudding
June 4th 2015


1909 Comments


listening now, dont really like pop punk anymore so this will take a lot to make me interested

TooManyFriends
June 4th 2015


3016 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

slow dancing forever is sad as shit

Toondude10
June 4th 2015


13827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this isn't really pop-punk, it's more alt-rock/post-hardcore

beachdude
June 4th 2015


846 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah that's a sad song... this is a great album, review is spot-on.

beachdude
June 4th 2015


846 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Slow Dancing Forever I mean



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