Body Thief
Travel Glow


2.5
average

Review

by Mitchell D. W. CONTRIBUTOR (50 Reviews)
March 10th, 2019 | 40 replies


Release Date: 03/01/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Post-Interesting.

Explosions continue to ring out from one side of a grand battlefield, the terrain marred by scorched soil and an intimidating count of deceased combatants. Flying high above the anarchy, a flag bearing suspicious resemblance to Conversation Piece demarcates a line of trenches opposite that of an identical series—yet the pennant there is a peculiar mixture of unknown shapes that somehow manage to all look the same. No gains have been made in the war ever since the failed DIVISI offensive was spectacularly cut down on the frontlines, prompting the ALLB nation to retreat in haste. The strangest feature undeniably rests upon the complete refusal of the contrasting forces to emerge from their foxholes; year by year, the legion digs in deeper, their profound absence of motivation propelling a great race between troops to see who can refuse to do anything new first. Though shouts and shells occasionally soar overhead from the encampment, rarely is any impact observed since the artillery ammo is replete with duds. Perhaps it can be blamed on the supplier for promising massive potential yet selling nothing but hollow capsules. By the same token, battalions a la Body Thief deserve to share equal blame for their carelessness. In a daring move, the Washington, D.C. collective ventured into the midst of enemy territory, managing to secure secret plans that could turn the tide of the battle. Instead of countering this, however, the gang decided to do exactly what the plan stated, word-for-word, forgetting that in essence they were attacking themselves. Bold as that may be, Travel Glow amounts to little else than self-inflicted damage by the time the first note lands—empty as per usual.

In a toss-up between trench warfare and an archetypal school metaphor, one felt more apt; Body Thief are merely the next iteration of a new assemblage destined for obscurity. This surely sounds harsh when viewing the scene has a whole—it’s not like the gentlemen involved in the project are any more deserving to accept guilt for mistakes that had existed prior to their inception. Some group, however, is going to have to be put on the proverbial cross, and if that must be the case with regards to Travel Glow then so be it. It cannot be stressed how utterly exhausting of a task it is nowadays to listen to contemporary post-hardcore albums when the majority, quite literally, take absolutely no risks and are indistinguishable from other dime-a-dozen Hail the Sun clones, the rest caught in the shadow of No Place’s expert incorporation of atmosphere. Classifications such as metalcore, once derided for their stagnation, have seen undeniable moments of creative renaissance, the previous year a shining example of musical achievements inside the genre. Why post-hardcore has remained so static in comparison, so utterly hung-up on tired demonstrations, locked in a creative stalemate of World War proportions, is utterly baffling; answers are futile and the participating artists are causing injury to themselves. The clichés endure, their survival reaching cockroach levels of assurance; one may immediately brace for nearly-grating, screaming tenor clean vocals and immature harsh displays paired with mathy riffs before pressing play on introductory track “Sour Sounds.” After an immediate assault prompting the song’s beginning, the band behind it ventures aimlessly for the next four minutes. The singing performance drowns instrumental contributions which, in fairness, lack variety and spend the duration of the tune softly strumming in background capacity. Progression is hinted at but it is never attained—like the rest of Travel Glow itself.

Constantly defining connections to other albums can be a tiresome exercise that unfairly bounds a record to external merit rather than its intrinsic value, but Body Thief seemingly steal the bulk of their sound from any post-hardcore band slugging it out in the 2010s. Those intricate, dual guitar assaults dominate the relatively brief lifespan of Travel Glow, trademark melodic sweeps and fast-paced picking interspersed with subtler moments bearing indie resemblances. Drumming and bass outputs are respectable yet never attain the spotlight in favor of vocals and leads—the former is generally serviceable while the latter a pleasant buzz, anyways. Restrained, mood-oriented interludes poke up their heads on occasion, the stripped-back instrumentation aiming to illicit an emotional reaction that can’t be mustered—the delivery here is incredibly overdramatic, making it difficult to stomach. Upon entering “Innerverse,” the aforementioned clean performance begins to adopt a shaky, tired and scratchy quality that continues for the rest of the record; it’s as if the singer, who clearly pushes to reach those climactic soprano-esque planes that have become a post-hardcore staple, begins to buckle under the strain (just hear those forced screams on “Night Owls”). What’s unfortunate is that when the band does manage to come together on “Vesper Visits,” mimicking allegations aside, the resulting formation sports addicting riffs and commendable contributions across the board. Once an intermission track passes, however, it’s right back to basics: “Clocks Like Hell” and “Temptation of Knowledge” are tedious and devoid of any unique trait, the closing number more of a TTNG tune substituted with different vocals. Should the goal of Travel Glow had indeed been to aim for such completely unoriginal, uninteresting, perfectly average creations, then the tactical self-destruction mission can be jotted down as a success. If anything of greater status was desired, just an iota of divergent concepts to dismantle post-hardcore’s obsession with maintaining a losing battle, then time will serve to wash this away. History is said to be written by the victors and Body Thief are not among them.



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user ratings (13)
2.8
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
March 10th 2019


10117 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Clearing out the inventory. Ended up having fun writing this, not so much listening. Hate to be so negative but goddamn is post-hardcore in a serious funk at the moment.



Listen on bandcamp: https://bodythief.bandcamp.com/album/travel-glow



Streaming also available on Spotify.



Comments, criticism, and the whole sha-bang (whatever that is) all welcome.

Digging: WRVTH - No Rising Sun

calmrose
March 10th 2019


5165 Comments


cover makes me want to jam this but "discount-discount No Place" makes me not

also, hello Marsbro and excellent review

Digging: No One Knows What The Dead Think - No One Knows What The Dead Think

Papa Universe
March 10th 2019


22410 Comments


POSy thief
the cover lookes cool, though, which makes me wanna listen just out of curiosity, even if you seem to describe the band as a slower, cleaner Dance Gavin Dance (which is never a good thing)

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
March 10th 2019


10117 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Thanks a lot gents! I always encourage people to make up their own opinions. It's an easy release to like, but very difficult to enjoy if you've heard any post-hardcore records from this era--the comparisons make themselves.



The screaming tenor vocal trope is also something I want to see disappear very soon, it is starting to get to me in a big ol' way.

calmrose
March 10th 2019


5165 Comments


this is all right so far, but nothing really interesting happening that would make me want to come back to it, a less engaging, "discount" No Place is definitely accurate

Ecnalzen
March 10th 2019


8710 Comments


Well, since I am not into ALLB, I am not even gonna give it a go.

Nicely written. Don't think I read a more negatively written review from you yet. Those are usually the tougher ones to get going.

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
March 10th 2019


10117 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Well I hope it's well written. I like to call it like I hear it, and if my reaction is negative then I gotta explain it

AffableMartyr
March 10th 2019


494 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah this reminds me of a lot like birds and hail the sun.

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2019


10117 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

A Lot Like A Lot Like Birds

alamo
March 11th 2019


1730 Comments


summary hahahahaha

Digging: Lana Del Rey - Norman Fucking Rockwell

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2019


7998 Comments


Will check since I love ALLB

Digging: Blood Cultures - Oh Uncertainty! A Universe Despairs

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2019


10117 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

If it's your kind of thing then it's easy to jive with, I just really want post-hardcore bands to break from this template they've trapped themselves in for years. They make good songs sometimes, but they're nothing but copies at the end of the day.



Like "Vesper Visits" here is a great cut but that's the extent.

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2019


7998 Comments


I very rarely listen to post hardcore any more because yeah it has become so generic and boring

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2019


10117 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

And I don't get it, y'know? Like, genres all around post-hxc are changing but everyone still seems hung up on the same sound in this case. ALLB, Hail the Sun, Stolas etc. are all awesome but they shouldn't be the end-all-be-all, especially these screaming tenors. This guy sounds like he's stretching himself real thin at times and that's just a path to wrecking your voice.

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2019


7998 Comments


Just makes me miss Thursday even more smh

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2019


10117 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

At least there's United Nations? Sometimes? I feel the pain haha

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2019


7998 Comments


I've actually never listened to UN much, really need to change that

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2019


10117 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Definitely a lot more hardcore/grind focused, but it's got some emo leanings to it akin to a heavy Thursday. But I wouldn't call it a perfect replacement, it's a bit of it's own thing.

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2019


25939 Comments


Very nice review, convinced me to check this

Digging: Weeping Sores - False Confession

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2019


10117 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Appreciate the kindness, interested to see your take



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