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And So I Watch You From Afar - And So I Watch You From Afar CD (album) cover

AND SO I WATCH YOU FROM AFAR

And So I Watch You From Afar

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.68 | 32 ratings

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The Runaway
4 stars Northern Ireland's And So I Watch You From Afar's eponymous debut sadly didn't get them acclaim it should. As a debut album for a band that plays two of the world's unknown genres (Post and Math Rock), it sort of dissappeared and they didn't get the appraise they needed until their second album, Gangs. However, their first album is longer and musically much more interesting.

The album opens with "Set Guitars To Kill". The blasting reverb toms and guitar soundscapes are destined to blow off any speaker membrane, before going into the fantastic guitar riff, switching between major and minor all the time to keep the interesting a bit more interesting. The band's unison sounds totally real and un-produced, and yet so full and heavy. Each riff gets better and better, and even more unique than the others. These guys sound like a metal band playing Math! 5/5

"A Little Bit of Solidarity Goes A Long Way" again uses the metal riffs from earlier, and yet now uses a sadder, melancholic feel with the pumping post rock chords. Random shouts are heard throughout the song, and I must admit they are a bit annoying, but hey, whatever they want! A bit too short for it to really progress though, and maybe a bit repetitive, but the core of the song is fantastic. 4/5

"Clench Fists, Grit Teeth... Go!" is regular ASIWYFA. Metallic riffs, mathy time signatures, and nothing really new to offer. Reminds me a bit of This Town Needs Guns meets heavy Muse. I must admit though, the aerial soundscapes ASIWYFA manage to produce are amazing. 3/5

"I Capture Castles" is post-rock to the max, style GY!BE meets guitars and distortion. The soundtrack to walking down the dark, empty road to your house until being attacked by a zombie, and then turning into a fierce, heartless, zombie killing machine... or something like that. The build ups in this song are amazing, but the song itself isn't really unique. 3/5

"Start a Band" continues with the post rock feel, this time almost abandoning the electric guitars, at least for the first minute and a half of the song, before going off into the happiest chord sequence in the history of mankind. Another amazing thing about ASIWYFA is their breaks. They're swift, and they're tight, and that's what all it needs to make an amazing break and to turn a song even better. This song demands hipster dancing, and maybe even headbanging, an anthem indeed. 4/5

With "Tip of the Hat, Punch in the Face", we're back to old-school ASIWYFA. Pumping guitars, odd time signatures (23/8, 22/8), and breaks that can kill your grandmother, this song just wins. 4/5

"If It Ain't Broke... Break It" constantly switches between ASIWYFA's Metal, Post, and Math skills. For a second you can think you're listening to A Silver Mt. Zion, and for another Megadeth, and for another Giraffes? Giraffes!. This song's composition isn't really all that great, but the playing can't get it less than 3/5.

"These Riots Are Just the Beginning" is the 'creepiest' track by ASIWYFA to date. Again a zombie movie-like song, all it needs is the sharp7 addition and it's the next zombie movie theme song. And... there it is. Again a headbanging/hipster dancing song, this is song is fracking awesome. 4/5

Oh... the things I've got to say about this one... "Don't Waste Time Doing Things You Hate". First off, the song name already gives it a minimum of 3/5. That uplifting happy feeling that makes you wanna flip off your desk at work, and the explosion at around the one-minute mark that adds to that feeling are awesome. Vocal breaks similar to Yes' Close to the Edge, and pumping guitar jumps that sound just like Battles' Sundome are what makes ASIWYFA what they are, the most eclectic Math band to date. After the song cools down again, the band plays some chilled stuff, very feel good, very fun. The name is definitely not misleading, this song is the perfect rebellion song. After a very loud musical explosion, everyone moves to percussion as the song takes it's post rock football anthem break. Middle eastern drum parts, the most cowbell you can get in a song, and the fantastic vocalizations provided by the whole band, wow, this song is freedom. After the first time you'll listen to this, you'll have to listen again and again until your ears can no longer function. This is a masterpiece. 5/5

"The Voiceless" goes on with the post rock theme that is now set until the end of the album. This whole song is very reminscent of How Strange, Innocence by Explosions in the Sky. Around the middle of the song, everything breaks down to the familiar chord sequence of Am, F, C, G, but of course, the sequence is beautiful and so is this song. Now the song sounds like a cross between EitS and Post-Metal band Jesu. 4/5

Now for the grand finale of the album, "Eat the City, Eat it Whole". Along with "Voiceless", this is probably the only slow song on the album. Again, this song sounds a whole lot like Explosions, maybe even a bit too much. Feels a bit stolen. Around the middle of the song, the song takes it's speed finally, in a blasting 5/8 riff destined to blow off any head you like (wonder how their live shows are). The classic ASIWYFA trick of using only Major7 chords is used for the first time in their career on this song. The song cools down a bit again for a two guitar melancholic melody, before exploding completely for the last 30 seconds of the song. 4/5

Overall, this album is pretty great. Some songs are weaker, but overall the album is filled with fantastic songs. Only two songs should be called masterpieces in my opinion, Don't Waste Time and Set Guitars to Kill. Most of the songs earned a 4/5 rating while, only two earned 5 and three earned 3. I'll give this album four stars out of 5.

The Runaway | 4/5 |

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