Bandit
Of Life


5.0
classic

Review

by owl beanie STAFF
May 3rd, 2017 | 28 replies


Release Date: 01/20/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: please listen to this album. it needs you dearly

The first time I met Of Life, it was just before the clock struck twenty-sixteen on New Year’s Eve. I was sitting alone in a friend’s backyard, sifting drunkenly through Spotify recommendations, only partially catching fragments of unfamiliar album titles before shelving them like they were obscure paperbacks in a second-hand book store. Maybe later, I kept thinking, like I’d remember them the next morning. Truth be told, the only thing I remembered the next morning was a familiar aimlessness, as much a measure of my blood as the alcohol.

I think that’s why, the first time I heard the riffs in Pushing – knotted and imposing as they are – I was content to be pulled into this record’s orbit. Of Life and I are friends because it’s like me. It feels like it’s longing for something and it feels like there’s a thorn in its side.

And so it goes in its own roundabout fashion, acknowledging its own neuroses (“It sits on your insides, pushing everything”) before casting aside its own attempts at recovering (“I don’t feel any different, since laying here beside you”). It’s indifferent and it’s self-defeatist and it’s beautiful. Of Life and I are friends because I am two of those things.

That this album is structured around a cover of Where Is My Mind is no surprise. The narcotized cousin of the Pixies’ original strips the song of its weathered alt-rock leanings, taking away the nooks and crannies that the lyrics have been hiding behind since 1988. The glassy piano guides these old words to a new context, and by the time the chorus slinks in, Of Life has surrendered to itself, idly wondering when it lost control. It follows, then, that the rest of the record follows the same pattern. It forgets days at a time in Forgetting Days, it forgets the people around it in Through The Glass, and it forgets itself every other second. Of Life and I are friends because I do this, too.

It’s easy to discuss style as if that’s just the clothing a record wears when it leaves the studio, and that’s okay, but it’s wholeheartedly fulfilling to spend time with an album whose style so strikingly reflects its emotional foundations. This release sounds deeply cerebral – the guitars icy, the bass driving, and the melodies quivering with disquiet. The whole thing swims in reverb, too, establishing an overcast atmosphere in which the space between the notes can be felt profoundly by the audience.

This is a nocturnal record. The sun sets during The Drive Home (plaintive horns put it to sleep), and the last track heralds dusk, chasing its own tail with lethargic arpeggios until it sets itself alight again. Everything in between is a frayed attempt to make peace with the things that come at night – the Dragons, the unwelcome company, the anger, the pain, and the myriad uncertainties.

Speaking of which, I still don’t know where I’m going, but at least I have this album.



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user ratings (12)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
AsleepInTheBack
May 3rd 2017


5876 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Lovely review. Jamming this now, quite lovely opening moments

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
May 3rd 2017


24238 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah great review v interested in this album now

AsleepInTheBack
May 3rd 2017


5876 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

you'd dig con, kinda julien baker styled with some shoegazey influences

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
May 3rd 2017


24238 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

mmmm sounds yummy. that where is my mind cover was nice but a bit simple

calmrose
May 3rd 2017


4046 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wonderful album, glad to see this get a review



also, for any fans of The Chariot, the vocalist of this band is who sang "Your" on One Wing

Digging: Norma Jean - Wrongdoers

treos777
May 3rd 2017


324 Comments


This album is great! Maybe not 5 great but more people should listen to it.

verdant
Staff Reviewer
May 3rd 2017


2318 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

thanks guys! this album was the soundtrack to my 2016 so it's pretty special to me. anything i can do to get people to listen to it is a small repayment in my eyes

clavier
Contributing Reviewer
May 4th 2017


830 Comments


Wonderfully descriptive review. A pleasure to read.

Digging: ITEM - Sad Light

verdant
Staff Reviewer
May 4th 2017


2318 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

thank you so much! read your good tiger review earlier and was gonna comment but forgot somehow lol. it was a great write-up (:

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
May 22nd 2017


24238 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

listening finally

verdant
Staff Reviewer
May 22nd 2017


2318 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

whatcha think???

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
May 25th 2017


24238 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ok now im actually listening, 3/4ths the way through and it's fantastic. that Where is My Mind? cover is the only issue I have with the album tbh but thats just cuz I think it's not creative enough, still pleasant. some of these melodies are gorgeoussss

verdant
Staff Reviewer
May 25th 2017


2318 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

agreed mostly

AsleepInTheBack
May 26th 2017


5876 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Little bit of clipping in this bugs me and holds it back. Glad you dug it con

verdant
Staff Reviewer
May 28th 2017


2318 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

where's the bit clipping?

follow up question: what's bit clipping?





AsleepInTheBack
May 28th 2017


5876 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not great on the definition, but essentially 'clipping' is poor production causing the breaking up of the sound. Its the crackling you'll hear in the background if you turn up Where Is My Mind semi-loud when she intensities her vocals; its fairly subtle, so not album ruining, but its present enough to irk me

verdant
Staff Reviewer
May 28th 2017


2318 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

ah thanks, i'm trying to dive into the production aspect of music more so thats helpful (:



but i really like the production on this thing and i can't hear any clipping? have you just really great ears or could it be something on your end?

AsleepInTheBack
May 28th 2017


5876 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nah the production is generally wonderful, its just a slight issue with compression and loudness I believe than only effects a couple of the songs noticeably. I have some pretty high end headphones, and it is quite subtle, so I think its easily missable and thus (as I said) not a massive crutch for the album. I could try it elsewhere than Spotify, could be their issue, but I doubt it

verdant
Staff Reviewer
May 28th 2017


2318 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

okay yeah that could be it, i'm too poor to afford good headphones at the moment

glad you like the album though (:

AsleepInTheBack
May 28th 2017


5876 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah man I saved up for a good while haha. Yeah it's good stuff, definitely going to keep returning to it



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