Before they begin writing their EP Bliss, A Will Away had started working on their debut full-length record until they realized they were dissatisfied with how the songs were sounding. Due to this, the band underwent a transformation as they transitioned from traditional pop punk to a more emo tinged, alt-rock sound more akin to Moose Blood. It’s been two years since the release of Bliss and the band’s eventual signing to Triple Crown Records and with it, the pressure and expectations have only increased as they’ve gained in popularity. This Friday sees the wait come to an end as they gear up to release their debut album, Here Again, which will see similarities drawn to the likes of Moose Blood and others, but the end result is a sound that differs in the best way possible.
Here Again wastes no time in throwing its best at you with its’ title track, which also serves as the album opener. Starting off with a guitar riff, the track’s verses are driven by the intertwined guitars and drums that quickly flow into the songs big chorus. This song establishes the basis on which most of the album builds upon, which are upbeat emo tinged introspective songs that never completely pass the 3 minute range. With 13 tracks the album suffers from a lack of variety, but with it barely crossing the 34 minute mark it never feels like a drag. A Will Away’s strengths definitely aren’t singular as tracks like “The Shakes” and “Agoraphobia” show, the former, which features what will probably be considered the best chorus on the album and the latter, which comes closest to a traditional pop punk style, but retains enough of the bands touch to remain distinctly them.
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Although the band’s strengths come in the form of variety or upbeat musicality, the album also showcases another side to the band in the shape of its short 1 minute tracks “Chemicals” and “Summon Your Saviour”, which work best as interludes. “Chemicals” remains completely slow-driven with only a guitar following the vocals and “Summon Your Saviour” starts off in a similar manner before erupting into a cathartic full band moment. The sparingly use of screams throughout the album works best for the band as it only lets these big cathartic moments breathe better and show more emotion than if the use of screams was more prevalent. Lastly, the album’s closer, “Something Special”, lives up to its name wholly as it’s the furthest from the band’s main sound due to the acoustic arrangement utilized.
While Bliss had the subtitle “Finding Comfort In The Pointlessness of Life” that showcased its more negative view of life, A Will Away’s debut is represented by the subtitle “An Exploration Into The Cyclical Nature Of Life”. Here Again takes this nihilistic approach and turns it into a positive as the band comes to terms that while maybe nothing really matters, it’s best to make the most out of life. It’s this way that A Will Away takes an upbeat, but reflective approach to the album that best represents that ideal and makes for a great debut album.