Review: A Will Away – ‘Here Again’
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It’s been a long time coming, but somehow the timing is perfect. It’s the beginning of March and much of the country is unseasonably warm while many of its people are unusually cynical. We need soundtracks, we need escapes that are also places to find ourselves.
A Will Away’s debut album Here Again is less of an album and more a collection of seemingly effortless offerings that actually were a calculated endeavor. If ignorance is Bliss, the songwriting maturity captures finding answers to questions previously asked in the thoroughgoing context of reality. Its creators worked too hard to lazily categorize this into one genre; at this point “pop punk” and “emo” both have too many stereotypes attached to them to be worth mentioning. Here Again paints with the colors of palettes from Third Eye Blind, Moose Blood, and Taking Back Sunday but it is a masterpiece all on of its own.
The opening track carries its namesake with pride pushing you right into a strong current of guitar focused flow under-toed by cymbal heavy drumming. “Pay Raise” exemplifies AWA’s use of vocals as its own instrument from smooth inflections to edgy yells to convey emotions like “Everybody’s playing by their own rules and it’s making me sick”.
One of the strongest tracks tackles a possible weakness for many, “Agoraphobia” is an anxiety disorder characterized by the fear situations or places that could cause panic or perceived unsafeness. The lyrics struggle with self-talk, “Give up, or give in”, and theoretical dialogue, “I want to let you in, but what can you give me?”. Relationships can be belittled as shallow subject matter but here it’s approached shamelessly and deeply in the scope of mental health.
Without out this narrative “Chemicals” may seem slow-moving and out of place but rather it appears to be a reflection on a moment where the body is out of the control of its owner, “ feeling my breath try to conquer my chest.” No matter how simple there’s something to be respected about an artist’s’ vulnerability to discuss what it is hard but important.
The album goes on to impress with arena worthy “Crochet” and instant hit “The Shakes”, the production is so polished and padded with pedals the listener can focus on the overall experience without distraction. Just one song from the end, “Into The Light” provides a cinematic piece you just have to visualize through “rose colored light”. The closer is distinctive with stripped back instrumentals so the lyrics can standout, with forced reflection and offered encouragement. “Don’t let the poison that surrounds you, stifle out the life you want to live. Please know it truly doesn’t matter, it truly never did.”
You can download the album here: https://awillaway.bandcamp.com/