Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Album Review: 10 Paces, Fire - Lakes Refract & Lakes Reflect

Album Rating: A
It's hard to find music that stays true to its roots, appeals to a wide audience, and contains a sort of depth that makes it truly relevant, while still remaining accessible to each and every person that takes an interest. 10 Paces, Fire has come up with some kind of black magic voodoo formula that satiates all of these requirements, and still surpasses expectations with clearly-burning brilliance and passion that makes it serious, light-hearted, and "underground" enough for snobbish hipsters. Lakes Refract & Lakes Reflect is a beautifully complex album in many ways, yet is completely down to earth at the same time. With tastes of everything from Moonlit Sailor to Manchester Orchestra to Minus The Bear, the album is emotional, exciting, deep, exhilarating, calming, creative, and most importantly, fun.

"62" opens with a technical rhythm in three on the drums, then quickly switches to alternating times of two over three and true three, yet the rhythm is only the point that provokes the head-bobbing: the real body of the song is the guitars and emo, poetic lyrics Andy Wambach sings out in an appealing, alt-rock style timber, "Maybe if I could speak English you would / understand me: I already do / it's just not the kind we'd like to", and other such slant rhymes meld into one another, a personal meaning behind them - but no matter if you didn't really pay attention to the specific lyrics this listen through, the color Wambach uses in his voice helps to color the twangy distortion of the guitars plucking arpeggios in the background without a care in the world. What really helps make the song is the rough-cut power behind the shout vocals, around three minutes in. It really helps bring the case of the 90's emo and aggressive post-rock / math-rock influences and roots it deep into the music, and with the passionate chords vamping on the guitars, everything falls into place and feels absolutely right, as the song ends by striking a final, minor chord that just couldn't sound any better.

"Wahl & Boates" really brings on a progressive post-rock sound with the intro guitar, sounding at first, a lot like a song pulled off of God Is an Astronaut's A Moment of Stillness, and then mixed intertwining with Moonlit Sailor's Colors In Stereo. The interesting part, though, is after Wambach starts to sing, "Sit at the wall / to watch the tide roll / and carry my hopes and dreams", it begins to carry a little more like the early, emotion-fronted sound that Moving Mountains' Pneuma had with it, which is a really fantastic sound to end this release on. It carries a complex, atmospheric vibe only echoed by the lyrics earlier established that the shout chorus begins to echo near the end of the song. The song creates this prospective desire for escape, to get away, to dream, and the latitude of sound layering the song contains is a literal example of the inventiveness and the heart that was laid into this song, and the entire release.

For six songs on a record, 10 Paces, Fire really covers as much of the genre of rock that they cared to, which was honestly more than I thought was capable to do in a full, 9 - 12 song release, much less in six. It took me by surprise, too, at how much I liked it and was able to get into it. I'm not usually an alternative rock person, but there were so many qualities of alt rock that were well utilized in the release that it blew me away. There really is a lot to love in this album, and in no small part on the band's behalf. A lot of heart is portrayed on the CD because a lot of heart went into it, and it's more than visible in each of these tracks. For a sophomore release, or for any release, for that matter, this album strikes home in every single way, and it is more than worth your time.

You can stream this album for free on the Muzik Dizcovery page! Check it out!
You can pick this album on the 10 Paces, Fire bandcamp page. Theoretically, you could stream the album here for free as well, but please, give us your support. We appreciate it.

Track Listing:
1) Senza Nome
2) Party Hats at 2 O'Clock
3) 62
4) You Used to be Mel Clark?
5) Birdz
6) Wahl & Boates

1 comment: