Sometimes it feels strange championing a band, but I feel as though Iroha are one of those bands that deserve to be heard but people (at least here in the U.S.) seem to consistently overlook the three-piece outfit, in part because of their consistently being left in the shadow of another band almost to the point of being called a clone of that band. And while it would be foolish to dismiss the comparisons, Iroha continues to move forward in augmenting and pushing their style of music further.
As a sophomore album, Shepherds & Angels avoids the dreaded sophomore slump with seven solid songs (one of which is a collaboration with Pyramids) of lush, poppy indie rock that, in some ways, conjure deep resonating feelings of maudlin nostalgia, particularly on songs like “Home Is Where The Heart Is”. Bolstered by a huge bass sound, a solid rhythm section, and tasteful guitar parts, Andy Swan (the guitarist and vocalists) uses his subtle vocals to not so much propel but rather entice listeners with understated melodies. Listening to songs like the title track, “Legacy” (another pretty vocal melody that might have one of the cooler hooks on the record) and “You Reap What You So” (the unbelievably monstrous bass sound of this song is an achievement to aspire to getting and hearing elsewhere), you might find yourself humming the vocal hook just like I do as they play; and ultimately, this is the biggest strength of Iroha in that the band does not blast you with a muddy sound but instead use a thick bed of guitars to softly lay the vocals in the mix so that the melodies caress and cajole your ears into listening.
Shepherds & Angels is an excellent effort from Iroha with a couple of mix-tape worthy entries to be found on this their second album, and though I would have to say that I do not enjoy the album as much as their EP End Of An Era, Shepherds & Angels is still an exceptional record in its own right. Do yourself a favor: stop sleeping on Iroha and check out this LP.
8.0 / 10
Now this is exactly what I am talking about right here, bands sneaking releases out from under people’s noses in this day an age is a feat worthy of the ...
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