Monday, 22 July 2013
On first listen to Night Verses debut album Lift Your Existence, I almost wished that they had split up or just disappeared. Although previously I was a big fan of the band, through its progressive experimental sound it almost came across as contrived and at fifteen tracks it felt as if it needed about three tracks shaved from it (I may be the only music fan ever who wants less songs on an album). However, after giving Lift Your Existence a bit of time, I am sheepishly going to admit that I was wrong.
Tracks like opener, 'Introducing...The Rot Under The Sun' and its follow up, 'Rage' sound like the band have squeezed all of the aggression from an anger management class and somehow molded it into The Incredible Hulk of anthemic music. My personal favourite from the album, 'Antidepressants', is what I imagine it would sound like if you set up a factory full of kittens and tested on them. Its abrasive screaming and ear curdling high pitched guitar noise is only comforted by Night Verses penchant to claw it all back into a melodic chorus (much like Deftones achieved on their recent Koi No Yokan album).
Lift Your Existence nods its cap to bands like Tool, Deftones, and even more so to the classic rock greats (like Led Zeppelin, etc) but this is perhaps what undermines the band most as I can't figure out what their sound actually is, or where they will go from here. Throughout the album I also found myself wishing the band would play down their abilities and play in the groove, particularly the drummer, who seems to want you to walk away from listening with wood chippings in your ears. It's obvious the band are all fantastic musicians, it seems strange that they feel the need to have to prove it but for those kids who like to film Youtube videos of themselves playing along to songs I'm sure this will be a great bonus.
These few gripes aside, Lift Your Existence is definitely worth your time and whether you are into emo, prog, post-rock, rock, or metal, it has something for you that you won't be disappointed with. It will be interesting to see now where the band go from here.