Are you a fan post-rock? If so you may have realized that the genre if suffocating from bands that sound like spin offs of band like Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Explosions In The Sky. Unfortunately wordless instrumental pieces that are as predictable as a ‘90s sitcom are becoming all too common.
When I noticed the label of post-rock on Let Your Grace Guide Me Home by The Withered Heart I hoped I wasn’t going to get another rehashed attempt at post-rock 101. Upon listening to “Stepping Stones” I was reminded of bands like The Dismemberment Plan and Pinback while still noticing some of their proclivities towards post-rock. In a lot of ways Let Your Grace Guide Me Home feels like the post-rock in its embryonic period.
The vocals are the focal center but some of the instrumentals parts are comparable to what the genre is known for. In a lot of ways I would recommend people not familiar with post-rock to start with Let Your Grace Guide Me Home. I feel like it's a great record to get your feet wet before jumping into depth of the genre.
Seth Scott (guitar/vocals), Jonathan Fitch (drums) and Isaac Wilson (bass) are the three members of the band. Scott does not have a voice that will be winning American Idol competitions but it is just about perfect for this style. He has a nonchalant delivery that works with the music with just enough melancholy. You kind of just have to listen and will know what I’m talking about. The music is great or exceptional throughout the album. I was consistently impressed by the transitions and dynamic of the band.
They kick things off with “Stepping Stones” which is about an old man giving some life advice to young man. The lyrics are engaging but the music and vocal melody is really what kept my attention. There are a number of transitions that had me digging the song from beginning to end.
As much as I liked “Stepping Stones” I enjoyed the title track even more. The juxtaposition between the pretty guitar melody and the fast paced vocal melody is pure ear candy. On top of that the drums work is on point. Listen to that hi-hat. “Wedding Ring” has a guest vocalist. Her vocals are soulful and she's obviously a great singer but it didn't really fit the song. She would have sounded great on an R&B song but something felt off. It was a good attempt to combine styles but it fell a bit short.
There were a number of other highlights on the album. “Steadfast” is an instrumental piece that worked very well while “Rise Of The Mourning Son” is a softer acoustic song that was a nice change of pace.
Let Your Grace Guide Me Home is a great album. It isn't perfect but it certainly does a good job establishing a foundation and sound for the band. The band is posed for better things if that keep at this trajectory.
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