Review Summary: On their latest release, Counterparts skim the fat and use brevity to their advantage.
Line-up changes bring about speculation and in many cases, dread. When a band loses one of its core members, it changes the progression of their music. I felt that Counterparts had peaked with their previous release, Tragedy Will Find Us
. Much of that was attributed to the beautiful lead guitar work throughout that album. Following Doreen’s departure, I was worried about how his absence would impact their sound. Would the shimmering melodies in songs like “Thread” and “Tragedy” disappear from their palette? What about the eerie, atmospheric interlude at the end of “Burn?”
In Tragedy Will Find Us
, I saw Counterparts fully realize and flesh out these minor, albeit powerful details. How would they follow up that album after losing somebody who played a key role in the way that album sounded?
On You’re Not You Anymore
, the band responds with powerful leads and razor-sharp songwriting. Counterparts uses the album’s short run-time to their advantage; there is little wasted space here. Minor details that made their previous work so powerful are sprinkled throughout these songs effortlessly, making this their most seamless release yet. The beautiful melodic leads are still present in songs like “Arms Like Teeth” and the title track. Catchy choruses are bountiful and are used effectively to grab the listener’s attention in tracks like “Bouquet” and “Fragile Limbs.”
This album is not without fault, though. The breakdown at the end of “Rope” is a retread of “Choke” from their previous album. “Thieves” feels like it was shoe-horned into the album to meet a heaviness quota and takes some cohesion away from an otherwise seamless album (hell, I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to hear it live).
These slight hiccups omitted, this is easily the band’s most developed release to date. The leads and minor details that made their last album so enjoyable are present here and more potent than ever. You’re Not You Anymore
will leave some listeners wanting more, but on this release Counterparts skims the fat and uses brevity to their advantage.