Reviews The Measure [SA] My Heart And The Real World

The Measure [SA]

My Heart And The Real World

From the getgo, the transitions on My Heart and the Real World could be smoother—but that’s no surprise on a collections record. The Measure [SA] put out an enormous body of work—at least for a band with only two official full-lengths during their run—and putting them onto a single slab of plastic or vinyl sometimes creates logistics problems with recording quality and sequencing. Considering these 18 songs were culled from different original sources, the record has an impressive feel—likely due to The Measure’s relatively consistent sound. Sure, they alternate vocalists between Lauren and Fid, and they do spatter a few faster songs into the mix, but overall the band follows big, dynamic melodies that define their songs. The consistency greatly helps pull a release like My Heart… together.

The primary disjointed feelings occur when Fid takes over the vocals. Generally speaking, he takes 1-2 songs per 7” (at least the ones I’ve heard), whereas he takes maybe 20% of the vocals on their regular full-lengths. Because the record stitches EPs together back-to-back, the singing changes can be a bit more glaring. Still, after the first few lines on each track, the songs speak for themselves.

Lyrically, it’s a blend of personal and politics. The topics are intermixed, but there are also a handful of overt political ones like “Remember the Devilock” and its refrain of “a country that won’t stand up for you.” While the tone here is direct, it’s delivered with a focus on melody that makes it less preachy than, oh, let’s say Propagandhi or something. After all, two songs later comes “When Mike Breaks a String,” in which Lauren shows an impressive range, singing along to a guitar part accompanied by piano. The up-and-down, swept-up tone of the song is complemented with a building rhythm section that pushes into crescendo territory. Then, like sweeping dust under the rug, they immediately jump back into the peppy, upbeat “Power Lines.” The personal songs, such as this one, tend to rely on metaphors that are imagery-focused and leave an impression.

Because the majority of The Measure [SA]’s releases were EPs and singles, they didn’t have the b-side or rarity afterthought feel that many short-play releases do. As a result, this collection holds up extremely well. The songs are quality and it’s convenient to have them all on one record without scouring the collector bins. It’s a good piece for casual fans of the band who aren’t all that interested in completism. While the song-to-song transitions aren’t perfect, it’s also not a bad place to start if you’re just hearing the band now and offers a bit more consistency than their other compilation, One Chapter in the Book.

7.3 / 10Loren
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