It’s been quite a few years since my post hardcore days, though I remember them fondly. The raw emotion mixed with the ploughing onslaught of rock was something that I really needed at that time in my life. I sort of got out of the scene, or really just moved on for whatever reasons, around the time that At the Drive-In were becoming the Mars Volta.
This fondness was recalled after giving the Ohio post rockers Lo, The Loyal Conscripts debut record Remember to Breathe a few spins. It follows the classic post rock format of steely guitars and gritty start stop bass riffs, blustering drum fills and searing vocals that can go from warm and melodic to rage inducing without warning. Lo, The Loyal Conscripts were born out of the breakup of If I Ever See You Out of Town in 2013, and after a the core of the group had begun writing songs they added members from the Cincinnati scene to help round out their sound.
Remember to Breathe opens with the fiery four and a half minute “LOYAL [WHAT IT MEANS TO BE CONVINCED]” a true to form pulse pounding of racing guitars and deep bass and drum beats. As the song progresses the tempos pick up and explode, then fall into a denouement only to violently explode once again later on.
The song “Farewell” opens softly, spookily, so much so that it keeps you on edge wondering just when it’s going to take off. Though the song is six minutes long it begins to pop in less than two minutes and then moves into a purgatorial interlude before beginning to build again into a head bobbing myriad of guitars. It makes you wait until just around the five minute mark until it really begins to let loose, but then the waiting is all part of the fun here.
The waiting isn’t as long on the gritty and intense “Fever” which has some sharp riffs and that the bass and guitar play off one another as they also do on punchy and metal induced rocker “QUALIA.” Remember to Breath closes with the seven minute long epic “LET'S DIG OUR TRENCHES, BOYS,” which is for the most part a dreamy instrumental that erupts and shatters the dream in the closing minutes.
Alas though the problem largely with post-rock and post hardcore bands is that much of their compositions sound so much a like it is often hard to distinguish one band from another sometimes. The guitars sound the same; the vocals sound much the same, and so on and so forth. But that’s not any fault of Lo, The Loyal Conscripts. Working within the limits of their chosen genre they’ve made an very good record.
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