On their recent release RURALA, the five-piece band The Absolute Sky comprised Branden Bauer (lead guitar, lead vocal), Mike Damiani (bass, backing vocals), Gene Fuchs (guitar, backing vocals), Joffrey Hoy (drums) and Jamie Lyons (guitar, keys) combine youthful exuberance, innocence and curiosity with observations a young person confined to the suburbs might make. It’s heartfelt, emotionally appealing and clearly defines a band who have a boatload of potential. The nostalgia and immediate appeal of the music is similar to that of Arcade Fire and Real Estate. The Absolute Sky really sound nothing like either of those bands but the way in which the music hits you feels like its coming from the same frequency.
The singer Bauer sounds young. He might be older than he sounds but he often reminded me of someone who is around eighteen to twenty-one years old. The thing is that his voice completely works with the music. It’s almost as if he is being nostalgic and reflective of the present. He is observing the present and making keen observations rather than looking back on the past. All things considered I think he is an above average singer who showcases some skill.
RURALA is a meaty album with twelve fleshed out songs and no filler. It takes a bit of effort to get through but it is worth it. The opener “Morning” is an excellent rocker that is infectious and lyrically prolific. Bauer sings about the apprehensive yet over zealous nature of youth growing in suburbia. He sings, “Frightening was the feeling, of undetermined fate something off in the distance, so close, so far away I know they said "Be Patient" but I just cannot wait.” The song displays the band’s versatility by going into a bridge that is in the style of ‘50s pop. Great stuff!
“Days Under The Sun” is another exceptional song that contains Arcade Fire style vocal harmony and lyrical maturity that seems well beyond the singer’s years. He sings, “I just want to pick up the telephone and say "just hold on, i'm coming home to you” But i never do, I stay singing 'i've got some issues that nobody can see, and all of these emotions are pouring out of me, i will bring them to the light for you."
The band flexes their muscles on “Parking Lots.” I was more than impressed by the drum work and the piano was a nice touch as well. Bauer introduces a new pace into his vocal delivery. “Five” sounds like a combination of Modest Mouse and Band Of Horses while “Adderall” revolves around an acoustic guitar and vocals.
The band should be proud of what they made with RURALA. You don’t have to be young to appreciate the memories and situations that music evokes. If you remember being young, growing up in the burbs and have a good taste in music I have little doubt you will be able to connect with this music. Even if not you should still enjoy this fine piece of work.
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