Eulogies – Tear the Fences Down

Rating: ★★★½ ·

When we last heard from Eulogies on their album Here Anonymous, you could feel the energetic undertones dying to creep out from beneath your speakers.  While their latest piece, Tear the Fences Down definitely holds true in some areas to such a niche, we find the band exploring newer territories, ground that seems a bit more subdued, illustrating the growth process of one of our favorite bands.

The stuttering guitar line on “Out of Style, Out of Touch” might you to believe the band will be following line for line their old stylings, yet Peter Walker’s voice has a little hint of solemnity to it, giving the music a calming effect.  Sure, there’s a bit of a guitar solo off in the distant horizon, but the tinkering piano/keyboard and Walker keep the pace in a more soothing realm. “Intimate Debris” continues the push into a more developed sound, no longer relying on bombast and sharp edged guitars.  Here the band almost takes on a bit of a folk serenade, building a collective group effort to the forefront.

But, as promised, the band still has some definite hooks to toss your way.  “You Hide” has one of the catchiest choruses to hit the Internet this year, and the rest of the song dutifully builds that frivolity throughout, though you might think that there’s definitely a hint of innocence and discovery playing a role here. Even though such moments do exist for the duration of Tear the Fences Down, they are few and far between; this, however, is not necessarily a reason to dismiss the record–far from it!

I’m reminded a great deal of Nada Surf the more I go through the record.  They achieved moderate success, then evolved into something much warmer, creating a canon of music that even the truest of pop fans have to look upon with envy.  Such are the moves of Eulogies, crafting little melodic twists, altering their sound for the better. “Tear the Fences Down” uses acoustic guitar to give the song a more natural feel, and in doing so, it lets Walker take control of every bit of melody crafted inside the practice studio.  Once the drums kick in you have a frolicking piece of genuine pop music, and while it may not knock you on your ass, it gets more ingrained in your soul with each ensuing listen.  When I came across “Separate Heart” my inferences about the band’s progression really hit me; this band is really grown up–they’re really pushing themselves.  Okay, so it might not be the most original thing to include accordion (or whatever it may be), but that chorus is built with such care that eery listener surely will find that it hits a personal note–one of appreciation.

Closing the record is a little bit of acoustic rambling, one certainly indicative of the band’s home state, California.  You probably wouldn’t have guessed such a sunny piece of acoustic pop would have sprouted from the last effort, but sure enough it has; its done so in such a successful manner that listeners might not think of Eulogies the same way.  Perhaps that’s what the band wanted all along; they wanted more from their music and themselves.  Tear the Fences Down, in both title and music, shows the band reforming their sound, and building things up from the ground.  If they do it this well, who knows how far they can go.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Eulogies-YouHide.mp3]

Download: Eulogies – You Hide [MP3]

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