And So I Watch You from Afar

And So I Watch You From Afar

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With an Orwellian title like And So I Watch You from Afar, one would expect the Derry four-piece to be a brooding, paranoid lot, but nothing could be further from the truth. Granted, some of the music does err on the side of melancholic, but for the most part it's celebratory, triumphant, and always interesting instrumental rock music. Taking its lead from the likes of Adebisi Shank, 65daysofstatic, and Maybeshewill, the group's debut album is an exercise in combating misconceptions: it's punk, but it's intricate and technical; it's melodic rock, but it's downright dissonant at times; it's instrumental rock, but it shies away from aimless crescendos and other formulas common to post-rock. At its core, And So I Watch You from Afar is just a really fun heavy rock record that happens to be without vocals. This liberates the group to do things just a little bit differently: a conventional rock song might not allow the stadium rock riff of opener "Set Guitars to Kill" to go on for so long; it might not allow quite so many pick scrapes and harmonics during "Don't Waste Time Doing Things You Hate"; and it might not be so forgiving of "If It Ain't Broke, Break It" as it waltzes between uptight funk, spacious jazz, and all-out thrash in the space of a couple of minutes. The record does become a little repetitive at times, but it's small change compared to all the diverse elements found elsewhere.

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