This third release does justice to its preceding records, outweighing them in terms of versatility and experimentation, and it would most definitely be appropriate for a hardcore gym workout, however it doesn’t raise any of those tiny hairs.
Having recorded this album live in the fast tracked span of just five days, you would expect The Almost’s latest release to be gritty, raw and covered in sweat and blood. As predicted, it is. Fear Inside Our Bones, The Almost’s third LP is a bunch of fierce confessional tracks, composed by lead vocalist and lyricist Aaron Gillespie. This latest installment from the post-hardcore outfit is more versatile than its predecessors. Collectively, it contains an underlying echo of blues, with sporadic appearances of rockabilly and folk sensibilities. ‘Ghost’, the opening track, kicks off with a heavy drum and bass guitar prelude, followed by Gillespie’s hoarse vocals as he confesses a manic desperation to escape the past.
The gravelly texture of Gillespie’s voice remains consistent throughout the record, reflective of its subtle bluesy undertone. The eponymous ‘Fear Inside Our Bones’ plays on the empowering, yet clichéd, idiom of the relationship between fear and nature: “We were made with fear inside our bones.” The instrumental crescendo and Gillespie’s shriek of “This makes us feel alive” involuntarily loses most of its effect due to this slightly corny moment of enlightenment. The rockabilly ‘I’m Down’ is a favourite, with its aggressive blues overtone and spontaneous cowbell. Sounding more like something off a Gary Clark record, this song is really groovy, a relief from an almost stagnant repertoire. Another unique little moment is ‘The Florida Sun’, a love song dedication to Gillespie’s hometown. As the only track with a keys progression, The Almost lend absolute pathos to this one, evoking images of despair and homesickness. The key pattern is delicate and timid, a nice little touch to the vulnerability of the song. In ‘So What’ Gillespie flips the bird, challenging fear and the unknown right in the face. As the LP progresses, though, the instrumentation starts to sound the same – thickly distorted guitar riffs that seem to go nowhere.
BY DINA AMIN
Fear Inside Our Bones is out now through Tooth and Nail.