Monday, January 27, 2014

Review: Tides Of Man - Young and Courageous

Once upon a time, Tides Of Man were a progressive rock band. Then, they went through some changes, eventually switching gears to become an instrumental post-rock band. With this change comes their third full-length album, Young and Courageous. It’s without surprise that some fans of their old music will be turned away by this. But, let me assure you, Tides Of Man have created a most magnificent piece of work.

On the band’s Bandcamp page, they claim they are “in the middle of an identity crisis, but we’re loving it”. This definitely shows on the album. Their love of their new direction is evident in every song on Young and Courageous. Each one is quite different, be it in the style or how it is layered. And, there is a clear attention to detail in the flow and composition that makes one forget that Tides Of Man were ever not a post-rock band.

The album opens with a slow burn, as if someone is carefully feeling through the dark until they triumphantly find their destination. Immediately following is “Mountain House”, one of the early songs released from the album. It’s an accessible and upbeat song, and very much reminded me of songs on Align In Time’s Me & My Arrow. What follows is an array of gorgeous songs, some of which showing hints of influence from post-rock staples like Mogwai (albeit not as brooding) and Caspian. Really, it’s impossible to find that one favorite track on the album. You have the deeply layered soundscapes like the title track (which also boasts a tight riff in the bass line) and “Eyes Like Strange Sins”, while “Hold Still” has a second half that is an absolute stunner. We also get some cool syncopated beats in the short, but sweet, “All The Years”. The closer “Measure Your Breath” slides back to a dissonant roll, which eventually leads to a full crescendo into an aural melody to finish the album on a definite high note.

Tides Of Man have successfully transitioned into the post-rock genre. One can hear clear influences from other veteran bands. But, Tides Of Man manage to infuse their own rock-and-roll style, setting themselves apart from the rest. Young and Courageous proves that the band is just that. They set out to try something new, and in that process, they ended up making some of the best music of their career.

This is one you should not miss. I cannot recommend it enough.

Head on over to the Tides Of Man Bandcamp page to pre-order the album and listen to a couple of tracks.

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