I'm always pleased to see what a strong emo scene exists in southern europe. Spain and Italy in particular, the latin countries, I guess they just get it. The passion, the heartfelt emotions. This is shown again by the latest review of About Leaving's brilliant second album, 'Scupltures of water', out on vinyl this summer. The review, by Fernando Lamattina in the DIYtopia Collective zine seems very keen, comparing our Catalan heroes, About Leaving, to such bands as Benton Falls, Mineral, Sunny Day Real State and This Town Needs Guns amongst others. I even like the way he describes the tracks. The link is here and i've done my best to translate it into english too...
"There’s no stopping my pen when I listen to this fugazi-esque guitar! About Leaving’s new stuff is just a massacre with an unhinged midwest-hairdo. A raging, armoured emo assault; the kind I almost had trouble remembering. There are nice Mineral-tasting chords but with cadences that belong to the Sunny Day Real Estate royalty too, all coming together in uncontrollable influences.
“Feigning Colours” spits tears on your face from its very first breath. With the gain set to 3 at most, I still instantly become a fan of the maps they like to share, of the decomposed geographic lines they trace, of blurred frontiers amongst screams that aspire to be weeping between ocre octave harmonies.
I'd ditch school for “As light”, a song that plays as if part of the best Benton Falls repertoire. Matured emo voice, one so grown that it even starts to taste a bit grunge at the roof of the mouth. A song filled with 90’s spirit, midway between Fun People and that evergreen emo from Catalonia with the BCore atmosphere that refuses to leave us. Bless them.
I gear up into emo-punk speed and watch desert winged-demons pass by my side.
“Conversations in a car” sounds honest. Sadness overcome by salt-tasting smiles. Algernon Cadwallader arpeggios in Texas is the Reason rhythms. About Leaving has even added an uncomfortable feeling to it, the kind that every good Midwest-emo band should have. The one that can, consciously and beautifully, be faulty, true and carefree all at once. It really shows in the middle of Sculptures of Water, with songs such as “If ever it falls” and “Background Character” that stroll on landscapes that seem closer to Liverpool than to California. Sheer emo, even beyond their emo influences. A casual kind of emo, created by a recipe that turns About leaving into something truly authentic.
“The Hours, their weight” is the masterpiece of the whole sculpture. A song in which water fluctuates between its every state. A dose of uncontestable personality. I can well picture some loser like me in the year 2040 saying that some newcomer band sounds like About Leaving. My favourite song of the album; I can’t even begin to describe it.
“These walls” blows my head again with its sadness. That pure Mineral school of thought shows its face again. An authentic harmonic bomb that hits the ground with powerful punch-like drums.
“Dance & Tremble” has a masterful bridge. A playful arpeggio that reminds me of This Town Needs Guns with a voice that feels like Nantes from Heavy Hearts. Each note brings me a new ingredient, forming a feast of emotions soaked with intention.
Rarity becomes banner in “There, at that place”. Maybe the song that feels most stranded on the album. A good tune that, however, takes me out of the suicidal voyage the rest of the album had put me in. Perhaps I should thank them. Schizophrenic pop that’s hard to disentangle, but nonetheless offers true prowess in its last chorus, sodden in the good taste that permeates the record.
“That Girl you know, the singer” is the perfect soundtrack designed for the album credits. A classy send off built upon outro-like notes.
This is an album that I will treasure on my shelf, longing to hear again and again. I applaud this Catalan emo group for filling my homeland with long-missed authenticity.
Thanks for a great record; I’m a believer again.