Review Summary: A slow record with its head in the clouds.
Elder Brother is a relatively unknown band despite having two records out and an EP, but despite this they had managed to learn from the failings from their first record, Heavy Head, which could be seen as a softer general pop punk record. But Stay Inside is so much more than that and it's an immediate classic. The album kicks off with the instrumental track Greatest Hit, which has a slow piano and has a stressing ambient atmosphere surrounding it which sets the tone for the rest of the record.
It's hard to say what the rest of the tracks remind me of or what to even compare them to, because it's like wish fulfillment. No Reason has amazing restrained vocals with a steady build up that leads into the chorus, with the drums being audible and the lead singer's voice shaking and then IMMEDIATELY hitting the second verse. The lyricism is simple but effective.
You & Me Forever talks of a relationship, with the two parties "sharing medications" but it still manages to be quite the somber love song. It's nostalgic somehow, and it helps build the theme of drug abuse and love lost in the upcoming song, Sway, which is probably the most outstanding track on this album. It's very slow up and talks about opiate addiction, but manages to give off quite the hopeless feel until the vocals are strained near the end, giving off just how desperate this man is to be free.
Unnatural History returns back to the simplicity of No Reason, but with lyrics like "the spiders are taking bets, like they know something I don't" with the ambient tone of the guitars, and just how raspy the vocals are, it's practically perfect.
Weak Days reminds me of their debut album but in a good way, talking about a simple relationship, reflecting back on things he and this woman used to do. It talks about how he made a mistake in showing affection and how he's trying not to miss the bond, and still wants it. Probably one of the more 'weak' songs, but it's still outstanding in its own right.
Coming off of their EP, Wish You Were Here deals with the indecisiveness of wishing that someone was still around but overall it's a good thing that they are gone from their life - or maybe they could disappear themselves. The guitars and drums pick up a bit more than usual and it works out incredibly well.
Battle speaks about a battle with drug addiction, adding onto the overall theme still. Talking about how he needs to stay away until he manages to become sober, but it becomes across so hopeless. Very atmospheric with slow guitars until it eventually explodes, but even then, it stays a little somber, though the walls start to close in around you.
Earthbound talks of how life has become so awful. His relationship has gone incredibly stale or is just gone for good, and how his friends continue to die - and talks about how all of this is God's work, so nothing should be wrong.
I Don't Think It Stops is my personal second favorite track off of the record, talking about how hopeless it feels and how no matter what he does to fix anything, nothing seems to settle down. It gives off an incredibly surreal feeling as the album closes out - and hopefully this band will return for a third record soon. It's going to be almost impossible to top this release.
You & Me Forever
Wish You Were Here
I Don't Think It Stops