Drew Foisie aka Atropos Mas is one of those renaissance men who don’t need a supporting cast. On his recent release The Other Side of Closed Doors he handles everything including playing all the music, singing and recording. The Other Side of Closed Doors is a solid off-kilter rock album with some impressive production techniques that establishes Foisie as a credible artist. He states on his Bandcamp page that his influences The Cure, Brand New, and Bright Eyes but luckily those influences are readily apparent. Foisie does occasionally sound like Oberst but the music, which contains a lot of synths and white noise is a different beast.
Foisie sounds somewhat tortured as a vocalist but in another good move he also manages to balance that with enthusiasm and exuberance. He has some range and often knows when to push and pull. Musically, Foisie doesn’t exactly push any envelopes but occasionally makes a canvas of sound that is ear candy.
The album starts with a minute-long song entitled “Attack of the Fruit Flies.” Youth Lagoon came to mind with this track but it is really more or less just an intro to “Sleepers.” Foisie does an exceptional job combining warm beds of white noise and percussive elements. The song has solid melodies and a good groove. I will say that I wish his vocals were more discernible. It’s extremely hard to make out any of the lyrics and it’s kind of a shame because the lyrics are worth hearing. He sings, “Something’s are clearer from a distance I'll find contentment when the mildew grows over him If this is what it takes to find the best in us, Then place my hands together And I'll meet you under the tide.”
“Love” starts with a warbly lead synth but eventually melds with a distorted guitar. It’s another one to put in the column as Foisie implements a surplus of dynamic changes. “The Arsonists” doesn’t have the same impact of his previous song but he gets back on track with songs like “Haunted” and “Biutiful.” The other highlight was the closer “Afterlife.”
Foisie is at his best when he veers away from a standard setup of guitar, bass and drums. The highlights like “Sleepers” and “Love” are able to weave in synths and white noise which give those songs a shoegaze vibe that worked well for him. Foisie also sometimes stretches his range a bit too far with vocals where instead of expressing anger, frustration, etc. he ends up just sounding like he can’t hit the notes.
The Other Side of Closed Doors is a good effort with more success than failure but still manages to establish a foundation for Foisie to build from. With a little bit of tweaking of the album, he will be well on his way.
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