Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: Deep in the Valley, Falling Spikes, K Hole, Past Lives, Tapestry of Webs, The Blood Brothers
PREVIEW: VISIT Past Lives’ MySpace
WE GIVE IT: 14/20 Watts
Composed of four former members of The Blood Brothers, one would assume Past Lives to be a second coming of the highly influential post-hardcore act. However, instead of the squealing the thrashing vocals of its predecessors, Past Lives present Tapestry of Webs as a haunting and tranquilizing experience. Filled with moody, deliberate sounds, the band uses every track to bounce from conventional indie, to experimental rock. Rather than mourn what was, the group is triumphant in its statement of what Past Lives now are.
The album is not cohesive, but is instead expansive and frenetic. “Falling Spikes” starts as jumpy art-rock before settling into a pop feel with an irritatingly catchy riff at the chorus behind the screeched “falling spikes” vocal line. Somehow or another though, it manages to balance its potentially overpowering musical arrangement with the similarly harsh vocal approach. Eventually, the pop illusion fades away–most definitively after “Deep in the Valley.” The hypnotic, psychedelic track creates a frightening calm, seemingly lurking for its entirety. With nervous anticipation, the listener waits for it to burst out of its shell, yet it resists, and instead drifts away before giving way to the dizzying experimentation of “K Hole.”
In part, Past Lives have shifted away from the abrasiveness and extreme aggression of The Blood Brothers to incorporating themselves as a multifaceted art rock project. With Tapestry of Webs, Past Lives offer up an experienced and mature plan of attack, effortlessly imprisoning chaos and complexity into their music. With a dynamic and diverse group of tracks that aim to both hypnotize and captivate, Blood Brothers fans may want to get used to Past Lives. It looks like they’ll be staying for awhile.
— Melanie Kussell