Between The Walls
Date of release:Buy Physical
Between The Walls
Between The Walls is the sound of a band giving up on song structure and melodic perfection, and instead aiming to capture the hyperactive energy of live performance. The songs crackle with the bristling vivacity of discovery, of four musicians put in a room and allowed free reign. The drawbacks are obvious – a lack of structure can lead to meandering jam sessions, to inaccessible synth oddities, but it’s the textural uniqueness of these moments that makes About Group’s third effort interesting.
The balance between songwriting and improvisation is slightly off kilter, but the moments when Alexis Taylor’s voice rises above the cacophony are nuggets of synth gold. Taylor has always had a penchant for sentimentality, and All Is Not Lost is the pinnacle of that within this record. It’s also a brief respite from more experimental cuts like the aptly titled Untitled.
Nothing is rushed on this record, and the listener needs to commit to its languid pace to experience it fully. Love Because is a six-and-a-half-minute slow jam, highlighted with shrill guitar riff cameos. Though these songs probably hold truer to the band’s intention to let go of traditional methods of songwriting, the moments when they pull back shine brightest. Like I Never Lock That Door, a short and romantic song,that could border on saccharine if it wasn’t for the sonic novelties carrying on in the background.
Between The Walls is a valiant effort to capture the mysterious energy of collective performance on record. About Group don’t entirely succeed, but there are plenty of sweet moments to keep you entertained.
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