Monday 30 November 2015

***BRIGHTER ARROWS - Colin May exclusive interview***

GenresPunk / Shoegaze / Rock / Post-Hardcore / Alternative / Ambient / Noise / Grunge
Related artistsPhoenix Bodies, Mans!, Lautrec, Hospital, Lifted Bells, Noumenon, Stay Ahead Of The Weather and Mara'akate.
CountryChicago, Illinois USA
Years Active2011-2014
Song: "The Occupation"
Album: "Dreamliner"
Year: 2013
For fans ofLadder Devils, Worst Gift, Cloud Mouth, Furtive Forest, Lucertulus, Mogwai, Cassilis, Kowloon Walled City, Lautrec, We Were Skeletons, These Arms Are Snakes, Slint,  and Sonic Youth.
Label(s): Skeletal Lightning / The Ghost Is Clear Records / Black Lake Records / I. Corrupt / Fairweather Records / Adagio830 / Galt House Records
This post's artist is from the November 2015 Mix. This is track #5.
You can download: the November Mix#11 right here or get the new December 2015 Mix#12 here.

Before I start the discography review, you should know this post is linked with an exclusive interview with COLIN MAY of Brighter Arrows, Phoenix Bodies, Mara'akate and Hospital.

Ahem, BRIGHTER ARROWS doesn't sound like the members old bands and is barely comparable to other bands, and therefore my "For fans of:" section is kinda garbage. BRIGHTER ARROWS sounds like BRIGHTER ARROWS.

The band's earlier work is much more Waxwing sounding with a lot of very high, light singing and much softer instrumentals that climb but the focal point is not the raw, heavier, asphalt lifting concoction that was implemented on their masterpiece 'Dreamliner'. I think the 'Locktender split' 10" is a good example of this, with "Eternity" is totally like that and most of "Entirety" follows a similar pattern, but the latter has some of the screamiest BRIGHTER ARROWS bits.

The band's first sole EP 'Division and What It Is to Abide' probably hits home the most with me, although I know most people pass out when discussing 'Dreamliner' because they can't keep their blood in the right place. This EP dips quickly into mathy rock and post-hardcore right away with "Departing", employing both sung vocals and strained screaming. The droning but well executed "ivi" follows which is quickly trumped by the amazing "Severance" which houses the most aggressive of all the vocals the band has ever done, and the talking/yelling reminds me a lot of mid-late 90s emo, such as Indian Summer and Four Hundred Years and some later acts like Bright Calm Blue. Definitely my second favourite BRIGHTER ARROWS song and the best on this EP. "In its Wings, A Wind Has Wrapped Them" was previously released on a very obscure 4-way split that I've yet to find, but thankfully shows up again here which is probably the most emo sounding song the band recorded. "Of One Accord" is a slow, soft little ditty featuring vocals and guitar for more than the first minute before catapulting into shoegaze/country/space rock territory for the final minute. The closer "N" is quite fitting and follows a similar ending to "Of One Accord" but dials in some sweet vocals to match the climax.

The band's crowning achievement was their final album, the already mentioned 'Dreamiliner' in 2013. After a quick noise intro "The Occupation" explodes and is by far my favourite jam on the album, and the best thing the band ever did. After a nice little intro the bass drops 50 seconds in and there's no turning back. The angular, shifting and dizzying instrumentals are joined by yelled/almost screamed vocals at 1:23. The song then slows down and incorporates clean vocals all the way up until 2:27 when Rage Against The Machine pops in for a few notes. Haunting whispers lead to the undoing of the fabric of time itself at 2:57 onward with those shredded remnants collecting into massive feedback. The universe resets itself just after four minutes and the song drops that prodigious bass riffing with excellently placed vocals that finally culminate at 5:45. Wow, what a doozy. "Visitation" follows and is a short, calming break after the bass-heavy romping that preceded it. "Vangelis China" gets things back on track with a disjointed, twisted, contorted mess of symmetry - it's as if everything shouldn't fit together but somehow does, which isn't too far off from some These Arms Are Snakes songs. Following this is "Noshow Me" which bears a strong resemblance to both "The Occupation" and "Vangelis China" in its intensity but the vocals are more prominent, the jam section is amazing and the song eclipses the six-minute mark. "Half Memory" is slow, building, post-hardcore/emo textbook. "Splendor Beyond Compare" is a very atmospheric instrumental track that makes me think I'm listening to an amalgamation of Mogwai and the Inception soundtrack. "Submission" nears seven minutes with a sprawled out shoegaze injection and the closer "Dreamliner" employs much more pop elements and almost sounds like I Love Your Lifestyle, Laika's Orbit or American Football but really pulls out some tangents that are very welcomed, especially the outro.

So there you have it. Heavy on bass, feedback laden, never screaming just yelled or dronefully sung vocals. Doesn't really sound like other bands. Check out discography. Read interview. Done.

***The interview is linked right here!***



2011 - 4-Way split 7"EP (w/Raw Nerve, Cloud Mouth and Grown Ups) (does anyone have the version on here?)

2012 - Division and What It Is to Abide cd/10"EP (stream/buy here)
2012 - Locktender split 10"EP (stream/donate/download here or buy the 10" from me here)

2013 - Dreamliner cd/12"LP (stream/buy here or buy the 12" from me here)
2013 - Dream Life Compedium cassetteLP (purchase here)


(2013) BRIGHTER ARROWS - "The Occupation" (from 'Dreamliner')

(2013) BRIGHTER ARROWS - "Dreamliner" (from 'Dreamliner')

(2013) BRIGHTER ARROWS - "Noshow Me" (from 'Dreamliner')

(2013) BRIGHTER ARROWS - "Vangelis China" (from 'Dreamliner')

(2012) BRIGHTER ARROWS - "Severance" (from 'Division and What It Is to Abide')

(2012) BRIGHTER ARROWS - "Departing" (from 'Division and What It Is to Abide')

(2012) BRIGHTER ARROWS - "Entirety" (from 'Locktender' split)


BRIGHTER ARROWS additional links


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your post! Brighter Arrows quickly became one of my favorite bands of all times, and it's truly hard to find something simular to them. Do you know if their singing guitarist sings/sang in any other bands?