(A review by ROCKFREAKS.NET)
Widows & Orphans
Written by: TL on 08/05/2012 14:39:08
AsOfLate is another new band I've decided to check out based solely on an immediate liking for the name, the genre tags - indie/alternative, and the 'for the fans of' - Copeland and Lydia among others. The band currently has their first album "Widows & Orphans" out, and yet they're still one of the few bands in the world that have fewer likes on facebook than Rockfreaks.net. And thats just about all the available 'background' information for you, so let's talk about their music shall we?
With this debut of theirs, AsOfLate present the world with a mellow, thoughtful indie rock in which guitar and piano are equally important, and which spans a variety of moods ranging from a dark and contemplative in the veins of the calmest As Cities Burn material, to a more light, bright and sentimental sound alá Lydia or Death Cab For Cutie. The instrumentation is minimalistic, with simple, patient chords echoing through the decent production, building an atmosphere to cushion the naivistic, thoughtful singing that sounds a bit like Lydia's Leighton Antelman or Owl City's Adam Young.
In fact, AsOfLate sound the way I'd imagine it would sound if either of those two songwriters decided to change direction to a sound more characterised by deep thought and melancholia, yet retaining their knack for penning catchy hooks, because "Widows & Orphans"' main strength besides is characteristic sound, is the fact that most every song has a recognisable refrain or two to offer, which makes sure that the listener feels welcome on each return to the record after the first listen. Especially the four tracks starting at number 3, "Everything Wrong" and ending at number 6 "Base Thoughts" are particularly memorable as are late album highlights "I Wanna See You Happy" and "Every Lone Wolf", with the chorus of especially the former truly soaring above its simplistic acoustic guitar chords.
Overall this is a chill, soft, dreamy and above all thoroughly enjoyable album. So when I don't give it a top grade it's simply for obsessive reviewer's reasons, such as me not thinking the songs flow quite consistently enough, and that the album can end up sounding a little samey, and that the refrains, although memorable, only rarely get so stuck in my head that I choose to come back to "Widows & Orphans" over other albums I'm currently listening to. All of those however, are only reasons to stay away from this record if you have the first world problem of having too much good stuff to listen to. If not; get this, put it on, kick back and just float away.