Violens: True– Violens are an indie pop trio from New York, NY. When I first heard Violens‘ debut LP, I knew I’d probably be listening to it quite a bit. First of all, their sound fell somewhere between Tears For Fears with touches of Morrissey and Depeche Mode. And if that’s not enough to entice you, they also have a knack for writing memorable melodies. I can’t tell you how often their songs are in my head, but I can definitely say that they’re frequent occupiers.
So while they’re clearly influenced by 80s new wave and pop, it’s also important to note that they simply don’t end there. There’s a definite progressive edge to everything they do and Amoral is filled with them. In many ways it was the perfect debut record. It wasn’t exactly perfect, but it had plenty of songs that were memorable to fill in the gaps between the ones that fell a bit short. Hopefully they could do the same thing with True and I certainly believed they could…
True has some of the turns you’d expect it to have on a number of levels, but there’s also a few surprises that you wouldn’t expect either. It begins somewhat predictably with 5 songs that are evocative of Amoral‘s faster and more melodic tracks. Incidentally, they’re unquestionably the best songs on the record, probably the best they’ve written up to this point and just about perfect on every level– Basically worth the price of the record on their own. Then, after a transitional track, the record takes a very different turn. ‘Unfolding Black Wings’ and ‘All Night Low’ both have punk rock beats mixed with their slower and elongated vocals… they’re not particularly their best songs and they would’ve been a somewhat welcomed change of pace under different circumstances, but then it changes even further. ‘Watch The Streams’ slows it down quite a bit and then transitions into ‘Lucent Caries’ which is another instrumental transition track that pretty much winds the entire record to a weird halt. I kinda thought it was over until suddenly it continued with the moderately-paced and melodic ‘Through The Window’ before ending with the lengthy-yet-melodic ‘So Hard To See’.
Overall, I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, there are some really awesome tracks at the beginning and end. On the other hand, it felt like I was riding in a car that seemingly ran great at first and then evolved into a glitchy hunk of metal that I didn’t know whether would die at any moment or get me to my destination. Minus the transitional tracks and obvious order in which the songs were laid out, this is a pretty great record… that is, if you’re patient enough to sit through the whole thing…8.8/10