By Lane Moore, Contributor
[Equal Vision; 2018]
Key Tracks: “Rose”, “Value”, “However Long”
If All Get Out used blast beats and china cymbals, then I would gladly let someone mosh me to death as their tunes play. However, these indie-emo rockers are after something more graceful on their fourth LP, No Bouquet. The production of this album has no blemishes to hide, which is further reinforced by cathartic lyrics and first-rate musicianship.
The hot pickups of All Get Out’s telecasters are the perfect medium for exhibiting their guitar prowess. On songs like “Rose”, the guitars dance purposefully with one another as they crescendo into enveloping and distorted tones. The intricate guitar work of Nathan Hussey and Kyle Samuel are beautiful when clean and devastating when dirty, and the entire record is marked by this sort of duality: their ability to be minimal on one occasion and anthemic on another.
Working in tandem with this effect, the vocals move from sweet melodies to highs in which Hussey’s voice breaks down in atypical emo vocal techniques (a.k.a damaging one’s vocal cords). The lyrics on No Bouquet are not necessarily special, but they are refreshing. Hussey refrains from overdone melodrama and instead reaches for hopeful and lighthearted statements. His tendency to do this results in lines such as “We could be poor and happy,” “Shake all the hate away” (“First Contact”) and “Am I the corner of your silver lining?” (“However Long”).
As stated, the production of this record is masterful. It is clean while staying clear of “phoned-in” territory. This is a project that could have turned out to be the indie variant of lowercase music, but monotony is avoided through variety, which the genre often lacks. “Value”, for example, is just kick-ass. The perky guitar riff cuts through the weariness of pop-punk strumming patterns and the multi-voicing of the vocal mix to find new color on the sonic cyclorama.
Of course, No Bouquet has a few wilting areas, namely a lack of lyrical complexity. The purpose of this album isn’t poetry. Rather, it is simplicity, truth, and the volatile disease that is the urge to dance. Unforeseen musical shifts and room-filling tonality make this album a pop-up book of constant surprises. This record is not “Just a rose.” It is the whole bouquet.