Sunday, October 12, 2008

Rocky Mountain Electro-Emo: The Epilogues debut review

When I told a friend I’d be reviewing the Epilogues’ debut album for Scene, she caught me by surprise with her fawning: “It made me fall in love again… and I’ve never been in love.”

That’s a special kind of passion, no doubt. But for me, The Beautiful, The Terrifying is more like a post-breakup medicinal, good for any lover without a warm body to cling to: heavy on the synths and the woe, it starts off with ache-breaky melodies before transitioning into danceable “loving-the-single-life” synth rock.The Epilogues must have studied some arty encyclopedia on somber electronica in preparing their debut, as their sound draws a wide variety of comparisons. Singer Chris Heckman’s vocals have a coolly punch, comparable to those of Morgan Quaintance of Does It Offend You, Yeah?

Openers “King Arthur” and “Hurting You” especially reflect this. And like DIOYY, both sail on an unmistakable electro-emo beat and catchy chorus. It’d get repetitive if not for a few gems of different color: standout track “On The Radio” rides on a sullen Radiohead-esque synth line as Heckman muses on the complexities of escape. “Caroline” is a similar slow-burner about desperate jealousy lined with throbbing mental images of exes embracing new lovers.

Comparisons aside, there’s a fair chunk of dance amidst the bleakness, particularly apparent in “The World is Yours” where rampant hooky guitar breakdowns remind us that it’s okay to move on.

Ultimately, this heart hasn’t been moved, but I’ll be keeping The Beautiful, The Terrifying handy for the next time some girl breaks it.

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