A grand tableau

I'm a sucker for grandiose songs that probably don't mean quite as much as they sound like they should. The End comes to mind. It's not as deep as a lot of people (the members of the band, in particular) might think, but it is immensely enjoyable. My oldest son often has it cued up (it is kinda perfect teenager music), and I nod along approvingly.

Apologies, I Have None
(Animal Style)
Apologies, I Have None obviously didn't wait to write songs before getting pretentious. I'm trying to think of a more excessive band name, and it's not coming to me (although Cattle Decapitation does come close. . .). The music jumps right off the ledge into full-blown pomposity.

Growly anthem after growly anthem (this isn't quite emo, I don't think, but it's definitely in the ballpark) filled with squalling riffage and emotionally-wracked lyrics. This, too, is perfect for the teenager inside of me. Luckily, I'm old enough to simply enjoy the energy of such electric feelings. No need to partake in them constantly. Man, that sucked.

The band has undergone a serious overhaul in the past couple of years, with founding member Dan Bond and bassist P.J. Shepherd leaving in 2014. Josh McKenzie is now fully in charge, although I don't detect a huge shift in style. I suppose there's a bit less of the ol' yin and yang, but McKenzie seems to have enough conflicted feelings to keep the songs bouncing from extreme to extreme for years to come.

These boys have been around in one shape or another for more than a decade, but this is only their second full-length. With songs like this, though, I think taking their time is just fine. As long as the results are this stirring, they can take (almost) as much time as they want. Grandiose doesn't come quickly. And even if these songs aren't quite as important as the band might think, they're awfully thrilling. Ride 'em off a cliff, and then do it again.

Jon Worley

return to A&A home page