Terrafraid: Despondent – album review
Terrafraid – Despondent (released via bandcamp)
Scotland is famous for many things. Mostly it’s bagpipes, mountains, and haggis, but over the past decade our friends to the north have churned out a handful of bands and artists that have made the go to response when quizzed about Scottish music more than just “The Proclaimers”. Terrafraid hail from this fine land, and this is their album Despondent.
This sounds like Biffy Clyro. A lot. And,when tied together with the fact that they come from the same damn country, it would be very easy to label Terrafraid as nothing but a mimicry of their more established counterpart. But to do so would completely overlook everything else this band brings to the table and, though heavily influenced by Simon Neil’s trio, the more one listens, the more it becomes clear that comparison is nothing but a knee-jerk reaction.
Terrafraid are very much the younger sibling of Biffy (I promise I’ll stop with the Clyro comparisons after this one) and while the latter focus heavily on the progressive side, Terrafraid seem to be dipping their toes more into the influential pool of not just the early nineties emo, but the late too, seemingly taking large influence from Taking Back Sunday’s Tell All Your Friends, and practically the entire back catalogue of Jimmy Eat World.
There’s also a healthy dose of math rock within this fifteen track album, which works wonders in catapulting the band out of the lurch of “flogging the dead horse of music genres past” and making their sound completely accessible to both the old church of emo/post-hardcore fans and the new breed of angst-filled independent rock lovers looking for the next step in the evolutionary chain.
What’s surprising about Terrafraid is that, after looking on their facebook page, they seem to be being devoid of the attention they truly deserve. Despondent not only has an “all killer, no filler” mentality, with every song being just as damn as good and heartfelt as the last, but, in terms of production, the record even sounds like it should be exchanging blows with the big boys on the circuit at the moment. There’s very little negative that can be said about this album, and why it isn’t getting a hell of a lot more recognition is beyond me.
So if you’d like to hear what a giant stew of twinkly emo, prog, math rock, and even some indie, sounds like then I suggest you head over to their bandcamp and get yourself a copy!
All words by Ian Critchley. More writing by Ian on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive.