We Are Above You
posted on 10/2008 By:
In the years that I have been a loyal reader of Metal Review, I have come across quite a few albums reviewed here that are so tenuously related to metal that they have caused me to wonder: Is there no Indierockreview.com? Such is the case with We are Above You, the debut disc from Boston act Clouds (Get it? Clouds - We Are Above You. Tee-hee.). The disc has some heavy moments, but the overall feel of the music is decidedly rock, not metal. Master of Reality, this is not. As it turns out there is an Indierockreviews.com but they have not deigned to review this record. Nobody at Metal Review seemed too keen on reviewing it either, as We Are Above You sat in our queue for weeks until I got sick of looking at it and signed up to review it. Unfortunately for Clouds, I know next to nothing about indie rock. In researching the band, however, I discovered that they have in their ranks one Adam McGrath, formerly of Cave In, which may pique the interest of some readers, as I get the impression they were a band of some renown.
We Are Above You gets under way in fairly heavy fashion with “Empires in Basements”. This track is a simple number featuring a stomping Melvins-like riff that builds to an anthemic chorus. “Feed the Horse has a driving groove with some tuneless emo-ish vocals in the verses, but the band makes up for it with another powerful chorus. “The Bad Seat” has a bit of an off kilter feel with its staccato groove and piano accompaniment. “Heisenberg Says” is a quick punk number with some high squawky vocals that make it sound a bit like a White Stripes tune. The appropriately titled “Slow Day” is a melancholy dirge that breaks into what sounds like a rowing chant from a Roman war galley accompanied by a jaunty, guitar melody. “Motion of the Ocean”, “Horrification” and “Playing Dark” are all straight forward hardcore songs. The album concludes on somewhat of a down note with “Garbage In, Garbage Out” which is another slow dirge but unlike “Slow Day” it has no entertaining interludes to redeem it.
As you can see, Clouds cover a lot of musical ground but the common thread that ties their music together is that all their compositions feature memorable and compelling choruses. The band’s Myspace lists three members as singing, so I cannot say for sure who handles the lead vocals. In any case, the lead vocalist does not have the greatest singing voice, but he can certainly deliver a catchy melody, and has a knack for belting out a great rock n’ roll scream at just the right moment to bring a song’s energy to another level.
When listening to We Are Above You, I found that no individual instrumental performances really stuck out. It is not that the playing is poor or unremarkable; rather it is that the compositions are for the most part brief and concise, and the band plays to serve the song rather than show off. Rest assured, though, that the band is competent and fully capable of performing the songs convincingly.
We Are Above You is certainly no metal juggernaut, so I think its value to the bulk of our readership will be limited. However, for those of you who appreciate indie rock or just good rock in general will almost certainly find something to enjoy amongst the diversity displayed on We Are Above You.
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