It’s very rare that a post-hardcore band’s first full-length release offers anything new, especially now, when it seems just about every up-and-coming group sounds like a less savvy version of A Day To Remember. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I started listening to Revive, the latest work by the Texas based Aerolyn. Revive, though a revamping of the 2012 EP, Resilience, is one of the few debut LP releases that offers a dynamic alternative to breaking free of the carbon-copy garage band and creates a prime example of what a solid and upbeat album should sound like.
From the soulful vocals accompanying “Architect” to the pleasant change of pace on the acoustic inspired “Resilience,” I didn’t want to ever hit the stop button on my playlist. Where Aerolyn really grabbed my attention, though, was on “Between Lions and Men,” which easily became my favorite track on the album. Though it’s one of the many instances where drummer Michael Brazil is a little overzealous with drum-fills, the song employs some really subtle techniques that take this track to a whole new level. A somewhat ’80s metal guitar riff throughout all of the verses seems almost too complex for the simple vocal melody, but works in a really nifty distortion technique that is absent on the rest of the record. It made me think of Alesana’s A Place Where the Sun is Silent, but without Dennis Lee’s screaming vocals.
Revive is essentially a post-hardcore album that uses none of the typical post-hardcore characteristics. The album catered to all of my expectations of the genre’s sound, but has an audible absence of basic djent riffs, round about breakdowns, and unclean vocals. In fact, the overall feel is very reminiscent of the Isles and Glaciers collaboration, which shouldn’t be a surprise since Aerolyn had the clout to get guest vocalists Jonny Craig and Kellin Quinn to appear on two of their songs (“Harbinger” and “WeFightFail,” respectively).
There are several missteps taken by Aerolyn, but granted they are allowed some leeway since it is their first record out of the gates. Whereas lines like “Kill for the love of the thrill” (“Killer”) is not only sappy, but cliché, they are able to make up for some of their lack-luster lines on “Harbinger” with “I can feel your heart beating/in my hands.” It’s gory, it’s kind of goth, and it just works in context. The other major flaw with Revive is that Aerolyn haven’t quite learned that quantity doesn’t equal quality. When it comes to incorporating Grecian ode-like chants, not one, not two, but five of the ten songs on this album utilize this technique. As a whole, it got rather redundant each time it sounded like a group of Satyrs had entered the recording studio. What it comes down to is that Aerolyn just need to learn to edit themselves. If they find a way to pull back a bit and focus more on the power of simplicity, then they will have a very promising future in the post-hardcore scene.
You can purchase a CD or buy concert tickets here.