Friday, August 10, 2018

Way Out : " Arc of Descent"

With the driving bass and atmospheric guitars that hold more of sonic attack than your average post-punk band these kids caught my attention with the first track off their "Arc of Descent" album. This Rhode Island band makes me happy because they are not trying to impersonate Joy Division. I love Joy Division, but I own those albums. The vocals were what I keyed in on, as they are the only aspect of this band that might cross over into death rock. I don't think their overall sound is creepy enough to be death rock, but the vocal delivery is impassioned. At times it reminds me of Beast Milk.The frantic tension of 'Healer" doesn't stray very far from what they established on the first song and has a high energy punk feel to it.

"A Presence"is not as focused and sounds more like a jam. The vocals begin to become less of a focal point as the band kicks up more of a sonic clamor on "Portal of Dust". For a trio they kick up a pretty big sound. The last track "Visions of Martyrdom"  finds the band polishing their songwriting skills again with something that despite the clanging of the guitar comes together as a more gripping song. The vocals are not at the forefront and battle the guitar for center stage, but somehow it works. I think the song's most impressive quality is that is shifts tempo and slowing down gives them a chance to explore more melody.

I'll give this album an 8.5. I like the fact that they don't conform to the status quo of the sub-genre. They take a great deal of dense sonic chaos and throw it at you in a way that has more in common with A Place to Bury Strangers. The punk pace and drive of the music provides a frenetic energy that keeps this from being bogged down by it's atmosphere.

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