Hailing from Minneapolis, MN, Arms For Elephants is an energetic post-hardcore band that just released their debut full-length album, My Judas Scene.
The band “focuses on writing lyrics and music that are meant to resonate in your heart. If you are struggling with depression, or having trouble finding your place in this world: there are no frills here, just sincere music.”
AFE follows in a tradition that was paved by the likes of Underoath and Emery. The music is razor-sharp, melodies abound, and the vocals on point. Arms For Elephants has duel-lead vocalists, weaving their voices in and out of each other, layering, and alternating. The use of both voices really fills out the sound and makes the songs so much bigger. Maybe it’s partly because Underoath was one of the bands that got me seriously into heavy music, but there’s something I really love about this duel vocal approach. “Charlatan” in particular nails that sound.
“The Laws that Guide My Feet” plays an awful lot like an Emery song: super catchy, and a perfect balance of the softer and the more aggressive moments, with a great melody throughout.
“In Faith and Doubt” is a big, airy song that fills all the corners of the room. Ushered in by some sharp guitars and huge screamed vocals, the intensity backs off but slowly the music grows louder and more aggressive, and the vocals change into impassioned screams: “take away the pain.” A song that covers the full spectrum and a definite highlight.
A couple of my favourite tracks are “My Judas Scene” and “This Divide.” It’s during songs like these I can picture Arms For Elephants sharing a stage with Silverstein or Alexisonfire. These heavier songs are balanced by tracks like the dreamy “In Memory,” or “Separated;” a rainy day song with acoustic guitar, pure clean vocals and touches of piano. “Empty Hands” closes out the album with a bit more of a mellow rock sound featuring some gorgeous female guest vocals.
My Judas Scene‘s instrumentation is rock-solid: a rhythm section with a perfect sense for when to ease back, give the perfect accent, or dive in full power; guitars that slash, and soar, and coax us along through My Judas Scene; and vocals that fortify and complete each song’s structure.
Arms For Elephants’ My Judas Scene is lyrically genuine and musically engaging. A well-polished post-hardcore album that runs in the same vein as Saosin or Scary Kids Scaring Kids.
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