Is the world filled with melancholy and sadness that gives way to brief moments of euphoric happiness or joy that carries people from peak to peak, or is that just those of us not blessed with “cheer-y” dispositions nor the ability to feign an air of contentedness or ease? Some people drown themselves in mood altering substances in the hopes of dulling their pain or inability to cope with the trials and tribulations of everyday life, while some others obsess over or revel in less than happy states of mind. There are a number of exceptionally talented artists that filter these emotions into powerful works of art that reflect both sadness and maybe a sense of belonging that others might latch onto as if the artist is lifting some signifier that they too feel as such.
The piano introduction to “Wear Your Wounds” is absolutely gorgeous with a repeating motif that lays a base not unlike employing a toned ground when painting on canvas for the other instrumentation in a painterly manner which seems to embrace the layers that a fine painter might employee when crafting a visual composition, and Jacob Bannon (the main vision behind Wear Your Wounds employs sound not unlike the visual art that he creates where the paintings seem to evoke a moody feel while simultaneously looking vibrant and kinetic; songs like “Best Cry Of Your Life” seemingly call similar artistic drives being energetic and bright sounding while still evoking more complex emotional responses and as the band crashes through the second half of “Iron Rose” and throughout “Breaking Point” where I find myself being caught up in the grand gestures with which the music explodes.
Wear Your Wounds wields the piano throughout the album in a manner that establishes a sullen counterpoint to the bombastic guitars in a rather effective manner, and the noise-y elements add a depth and shading to the songs that might otherwise leave some of the tracks a bit thin like with “Hard Road To Heaven” with the bird songs and other electronics; there are moments where some more pop sounding songs peak their heads up above the wild, sonic mayhem (“Best Cry Of Your Life”, the title track, “Breaking Point”) showing hints of a subtle sophistication that rewards repeated times spent with the album playing on your listening experience of choice while begging an answer to the question, “Is this what Bannon intended or is he hiding his love of certain groups within a sly waterfall of sound and texture?”.
If I were a betting man (and no I am an absolutely terrible gambler), I would probably lean more toward the latter; but in a more scientific guessing manner, the truth probably sits somewhere that has a bit of both purpose intention and dashes of the former. In the end, it is we the listeners that ultimately benefit from the powerful emotional tenor of WYW; and the album truly is a strong debut from Mr. Bannon and his compatriots that both embraces and conquers its flaws (many of the songs have a similar quiet beginning that are built upon in both sound textures, volume, tempo, and such as the songs progress) giving the repeating motif an endearing and comforting quality that I relate to, particularly when I am feeling down, as this collection of songs matches my up and down mood swings in a soothing and knowing manner as if Bannon is speaking to those of us who have some pretty rough moments in life, again a beauty in sadness. If you still do not believe, just pop on “Goodbye Old Friend” and witness the subtle cathartic splendor that Wear Your Wounds pull from the ether and just try not to bask in the sullen melody and excellent arrangement that amplifies that liberating power.
7.8 / 10
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