Life in 24 Frames describes themselves as awkward and different. The different part is true – but there’s not a thing awkward about the lovely music they create. Their album Bitter End is deceptively soothing while seeming to describe the prototypical and inevitable human spiral into near insanity.
I say the album is deceptively soothing because it’s so mellow from beginning to end, which was admittedly unexpected given the bold song titles. “Eureka” starts off with the sound of passing cars, as though one were walking along a road. I really like the vocals, which are a slightly higher pitch than medium and well sustained but still a little rough around the edges when necessary.
“Deafened Ear” has a beautiful introduction that leads into a satisfying rhythm and blues rock song, completely with trumpets for flair and effect. The bass guitar plays a really big part in keeping the melody what it is. Female choral vocals added for effect tie a pretty ribbon around the whole package. “Poor Rich Man” reminds me so much of the old school soul songs I used to listen to as a child. The piano is especially smooth and serene, and I do like how the electric guitars played a small yet important part in the overall tone.
“Battleship Island” has an appropriate marching drum to match the military theme of the song. There’s a really nice, jam session guitar solo, which sweetly sings to the beat. The drums continue in “Wardrum,” keeping an almost military beat that steadily speeds up through the course of the song. It really sounds like the sad story of a soldier traveling through unfamiliar territory.
Closing out the album, “Bloodmothers” is a heart wrenching song that starts with well-meaning, dedicated sentiments; near the end, it suddenly collapses into desperate pleas of escape, which melt into the same sort of life noise that began the album. It was a stunning way to end the album.
I enjoyed this album for a number of reasons: first, there’s a touch of nostalgia in the R&B laden grooves, oozing with soul. Second, the natural chemistry between band members is immediately apparent and does not waver at all throughout the album. And third – the music just sounds great! It was calming yet thought provoking at the same time, and as such I really liked listening to it. Definitely check it out.
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