Saturday, April 23, 2011

Achievment House - 2011 Volume One

Band : Achievment House
Album : Volume One
Release Year : 2011
Genre : Emo | Indie

Tracklist :
 1. Caverns
2. Summer Spirit
3. Stateside
4. Letters To...

Achievement House have been making small waves in their local scene, with many simply waiting for their eventual breakthrough. And really, it's difficult not to share the sentiment, as the band's debut EP is an impressive and mature record, full of poise and creativity.

Volume One is a short affair, and one which really hits hard with a small amount of content. It's catchy and lax, laden with the lo-fi sound that's been all the rage these days. It's like moving in a fog, with the dense yet airy vocals and instrumentation casting a serene haze over the entire record. Because of this, Volume One really feels like an honest to goodness "summer album." Not the kind you blare from your speakers on a warm summer's night, but the kind you sort of drift into. Unfortunately this kind of makes it a little unassuming, as the relaxed nature and short run-time may cause it to come off as a passing fancy in regards to the majority of people who listen.

And to be quite honest, it's hard not to feel the same, because for everything that works in Volume One's favor, there's some odd nagging thing to sort of take away from the grand amount of things being done right. The band is the epitome of an "up-and-coming" act, and the production obviously suffered because of it. All four songs have the same feeling, vibe, and ambiance, which makes a the rather brief record come off as longer than it actually is, as redundancy sets in about half-way. Also, the vocals have this "far away" quality to them, and sound pushed into the foreground. This is a shame, because both vocalists featured do a pretty fantastic job interchanging vocal melodies, and the male/female duo offers up a great range of sounds.

Achievement House claim to draw a lot of inspiration from the emo scene, which is strangely absent on their debut. Sounding more in line with a fuzzy indie-pop quartet, Achievement House share little with their inspirations. Each of the four tracks are of average length, catchy, fun, and subdued. The vocal interplay sounds great in contrast to the loopy guitar and light amount of percussion. When melded together, everything sounds really great, and literally every song on here displays that perfectly.
Achievement House have a lot going for them, and show promise of being able to create a real knock-out record sometime down the road. However, the kinks in here really are a hindrance in places, but shouldn't deter those interested, for there is a quite a solid and meaty experience in Volume One. You've piqued my interest Achievement House, now show me that you aren't simply a "flash in the pan."

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