Saturday, February 1, 2014

Miniview: The Republic of Wolves - No Matter How Narrow

Album Rating: A-
In the process of recording its second album No Matter How Narrow, Long Island outfit The Republic of Wolves had to switch between three different spaces over four months just to get everything finished: the resulting release is as eclectic as one would expect. Even within songs, the four members switch adeptly between nimble, catchy rhythm sections, melodies brimming with measured angst and anger, delicate moments of serenity and titanic breakdowns. There's pop-punk gold buried in these twisted ruins, though: the most resonant moments on No Matter How Narrow are often when The Republic of Wolves weaves all of its layers into a tapestry of balanced chaos, demonstrating control by losing it. Standout "Spare Key" opens on a math-rocky guitar melody, looped over and over, before drums, keys and vocal harmonies enter the dialogue one by one--instead of rehashing the same material, the band constantly runs new permutations of old motifs: one chorus where the drums are churning as everything over it vies for space, another where everything but the acoustic guitar has died down and the band's gentle, emotive lead vocals have room to shine. The best cuts here feel as if the band is continuously reinterpreting its experience, even in the midst of writing it, and No Matter How Narrow abounds with new insights.

You can stream the album below:

Track Listing
1. Frozen Feet
2. Stray(s)
3. Spare Key
4. Greenville, MO
5. Pioneers
6. Keep Clean
7. Arithmetic On The Frontier
8. Turning Lane
9. Vinedresser
10. Orange Empire
11. Through Empty Vessels

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