Last month we introduced you to the intriguing delights of Windsor rockers You Win Again Gravity as our New Band of the Week, in which we revealed their debut album Anonymity was imminent – and the good news is that’s out now, and it’s superb.
This is an album that symbolises the maturing of a band that began life playing Blink-182 covers, but now sits somewhere between technical, almost mathy post-hardcore and rock, with moments of heavy rock intertwined with delicious melodies.
The album kicks off in impressive style with the big powerful opener Phonetics. The band’s mathy influence is in prominence here, with a really cool, very technical heavy guitar intro leading into a verse of enjoyable vocals with darting guitars in support. The pace drops right down with floaty guitars and vocals, then a burst of guitar brings in a heavy chorus with all manner of brilliant harmonies and guitar riffs. Another moment of calm, with the calming vocals “Take a step back, you’re a fucking mess” is blown away by a huge smash of guitars and screamed vocals, before more technical guitar mastery brings an opening track that seems to have lasted well beyond its near five minutes to a close.
Next up, Grace & Focus starts with a lingering noise that gradually builds into a blitz of fast guitars. A chilled out opening verse follows until a big hit of guitar chords leads into a huge singalong chorus, followed by a big blast of guitars and screams and booming drums. Chugging guitars then add a sense of darkness to the floaty verse second time around, which is soon replaced by more screamed vocals then another relaxed twist of floaty guitars precede the singalong chorus.
That’s followed by Seamless, which opens up with chuggy guitar chords and big drums then drops down into a relaxed verse that feeds into a chorus of shouted vocals “They say ‘try not to care, you have a life to admire,’ But I can’t understand, We don’t talk, we don’t fight, we don’t have to stand up so tall.” The song increases in intensity and heaviness, with big screamed vocals followed by big high-pitched guitar riffs then a huge metal breakdown of low-tuned chords supporting wild screamed vocals.
Next ILearntToStopAsking opens with a big scream then layered, atmospheric high-pitched guitars supporting winding vocals. Big screams are joined by fast-paced blitzes of high-pitched guitar and breathless continued vocals. An ominous drop in the pace is followed by a fast repeated riff that is mimicked by repeating vocals then explodes into life with huge screamed vocals supported by huge driving drums, with a load of double bass drum thrown in for good measure, then a big winding guitar solo.
The excellent A Lack of Clarity is possibly the embodiment of what makes You Win Again Gravity so great in one song. Reverby, building guitars open up then the entry of singalong vocals are met with a crash of heavy guitars and answered by distant screams, then supported by twisting guitar licks. The pace drops down a notch with high-pitched vocals and twisting guitars alongside chugging bass, then a floaty guitar lick feeds into a big wall of vocals and booming guitar chords through the chorus. This is a truly excellent track, which you can check out for yourself in the video below:
Swept To The Waves and Lost is equally epic, opening up with prolonged fast-paced guitar chords that soon give way to winding guitar riffs, then a brief moment of chilled vocals that’s blown open by a hugely busy chorus. The contrast between moments of calm and melody is particularly stark in this song, with a long spell of slow vocals and lingering bass flowing into a laid-back guitar solo supported by gradually building drums that are soon added to by atmosphere building vocals then an assault of drums, guitar chords and high-pitched repeated guitar notes.
Penultimate track Sullen Sketch gives us a brief moment to recover with a piano riff intro, then picks up the pace with a repeating guitar lick before a trademark relaxed verse. Screamed vocals suddenly appear and are the cue for a big blast of metal, with heavily rhythmic guitar chords and huge drums, then delicious guitar licks over the vocals. A big breakdown of low-tuned chords comes in, and is followed by wild, brilliant mathy guitars then chugging chords supporting vocals as the track once again builds to a powerful ending.
It all ends with a bit of an epic in the form of the near eight-minute long title track Anonymity. It opens with reverby noise then awesome repeating chords supporting screamed vocals before dropping down into a calm verse. The calmness is forgotten through a huge blast of screamed vocals and the repeating chords, then restored again in a relaxed, drawn-out guitar solo that gives way to a punchy fat repeating bassline taking centre stage over floating guitars for nearly two minutes.
Another relaxed guitar lick returns to introduce another chilled verse, then it slowly builds with repeating high-pitched guitars supported by the same chugging bassline and wailing vocals. A distant guitar wails into the picture as the sound builds, then it all drops out bar the high-pitched guitar then a lone smash of bass introduces one final hit of high-pitched vocals countered by big screams sees the album go out with a bang.
This is a superb debut album from what is one of the most exciting, interesting and diverse new bands around. Moments of true metal heaviness are wonderfully contrasted by periods of calm serenity and lingering melodies, with instrumental quality dominant throughout. I’m sure the days of playing Blink-182 covers seem a long distant memory.