Ourselves Alone - Elusive Firsts LP
Ourselves Alone is a three piece Math/Post-Rock band from New Haven, CT. Formed in 2016 by guitarist Michael Cueto and drummer Nick Restivo. Bassist Joe Rousseau is the newest addition to the band. "Elusive Firsts" is the band's debut LP. The album finds the band incorporating vocals on select tracks for the first time, in addition to a variety of auxiliary instrumentation (viola & harmonium).
Beginning with "Arms To The Trees" we're in for an energetic trip down math rock lane. This incredibly spastic intro is reminiscent of bands like The Bulletproof Tiger with its rapidly varying tempo shifts and tapped out melodies. Vocals kick in midway through the song with a hushed low conveyance, making for a bummer-folk type of mood. A very cool jazzy drum outro ends this phenomenon of an opening track.
The 1st featured song "Stiff Jazz" opens with frenetic pacing and a "twinkle attack" of a guitar riff. This song undoubtedly is a fine showcase of the band's skills, with busy drumming patterns and "Floral" like phrasing, this song is sure to be a hit with everyone in the instrumental rock community. Orchestral strings make an appearance later on in the form of a viola. The viola in this song has a tone like that of a rusty nail grinding through to your bone, it's a very earthy and gutteral addition to this stand out track.
My favorite track is "Do You Have A Grandfather?" This song showcases grooving riffs with more twinkle attacks, harmonic plucks that hit like laser beams burning through your soul, quick time signature changes, stop/start action and harmonic strumming. Alongside tapping fits and mechanical sounding drone riffs, almost midway through the song lies a dreamy bridge drifting in an ocean of bright delayed guitar tones that pierce ears like water droplets rippling and echoing across the sea. Sincere lyrics peek in for a spell before the boisterous ending which is full of rhythmic headbanging inducing vibes. After careful consideration, this song edges out to be my favorite track of the album because it displays more character and versatility than the other tracks.
Ourselves Alone while being still a little wet behind the ears shows promise and potential in their first full release. I look forward to hearing more from them in the years to come! Enjoy!
-M Chan -- The Math Rock Times
Ourselves, Alone - Elusive Firsts
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