Overly orchestrated music seems to be all the rage these days, and Philadelphia's Grandchildren are making sure not to miss their chance to get in on the action. Everlasting
, the bands debut album, is a complex, forty-minute adventure through orchestrated acoustic/electric guitar riffs, abnormal percussion, synthesizers and vocal melodies and harmonies that are as saccharin as they are brooding.
From start to finish, the band's influences are starkly apparent. Everlasting
sounds like what Animal Collective's neighbors must have heard from the band's practice sessions during their transition from the older, more eclectic material to the more poppy and melodic work that sprung up on Merriweather Post Pavilion
. But recognizing this borrowed quality doesn't have to leave an immediate sour taste in the listener's mouth. An attempt at recreating the AC sound at it's most successful should be expected and when done right, quietly applauded.
Grandchildren have created a free flowing, sonically pleasing event that can be both listened to as one long connected movement, or treated as a dish that one can pick out and enjoy the parts that they wish with great ease. "Cold Warrior", the opening track, doesn't waste any time playing with our sonic perceptions. It features some odd sounding percussion, obscuring if the beat is sampled or just recorded in an extremely unusual way and producing sounds resembling someone smacking coconuts against the wall of an empty stairway (just a guess). The percussion is aided by light acoustic strumming and strong yet not overbearing vocal lines. It's unique without being too off-the-wall, beat driven without being too drone heavy.
The title track, "Everlasting", could be described as beginning with similar techniques yet it manages to sound very, very different. Most of the songs on Everlasting
could be described that way, cohesive while maintaining enough individuality to warrant names and breaks. All take a more unusual route than expected but still manage to come off as pleasant, even through the complexity. What comes off as random and sporadic ends up sounding carefully choreographed.
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