Too often in our society, beautiful art, which has the potential to change lives, sculpt individuals and alter the ways in which we think, goes unnoticed. This is especially true in regards to music, whose more thoughtful messengers are often overshadowed by a maelstrom of cookie-cutter acts all strumming the same four- chord progression. For this reason, we at The Pointer present you with Need-To-Know Tunes, a weekly column dedicated to highlighting not necessarily the newest releases, but rather the totally awesome one’s that, for one reason or another, you may have missed:
No Matter How Narrow
The Republic of Wolves
For Fan’s of:
Brand New “Sowing Season”, Manchester Orchestra’s “I Can Feel a Hot One”, Kevin Devine’s “Brother’s Blood”
The Republic of Wolves came into being during the summer of 2009, when longtime cohorts Mason Maggio and Christian Van Deurs of Tigers On Trains began writing more dynamic, experimental music. Shortly after, Billy Duprey and Chris Wall rounded off the lineup, and ina startlingly short amount of time, the group rose to fame for their signature style of dreary alternative rock, gaining them recognition from other notable Long Island acts such as Brand New and Straylight Run. The outfit self-released their debut full-length, Varuna, in 2010, and on December 17 will release their long anticipated follow-up, No Matter How Narrow. And it rules.
In my humble opinion, No Matter How Narrow is nothing short of a masterpiece. Each track meshes well with the one before and after it, and the collection as a whole sets a definite tone that is ideal for the reflective winter days ahead. The opener “Frozen Feet” is probably my personal favorite, and almost certainly single material; built upon a flurry of sounds and toe- tapping percussion, it is catchy, but at the same time reclusive enough to maintain the interest of even the most tactful music snob.
The hook of “Stray(s)”, though slightly more commercial than the group’s previous efforts, is unrelenting, while the intriguing guitar work of “Spare Key” and “Pioneers” will likely provide comfort for all those with an ear for technical songwriting. “Keep Clean” is also a gem, with dizzying changes in pace throughout, while “Vinedresser” is perfectly stripped down, relying on its poignant lyrics to move forward.