Scatter the Ashes

Devout/The Modern Hymn

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AllMusic Review by

Scatter the Ashes are a whole new thing. Hailing from Nashville, they bring the dissolution dynamics of post-punk, the riffing of power metal, elegant, hook-laden quirky pop, and truckloads of emotional and textural atmospherics to the rock & roll table. That all of these traits spill over into one another and infect the listener's space simultaneously is remarkable. Scatter the Ashes have listened to virtually everything that happened after 1977, from Gang of Four and U2 to Fugazi, Shudder to Think, and Jeff Buckley, from Rites of Spring to Rothko, and they sound like no one else. Musically so adventurous that they cannot be categorized, and lyrically sophisticated, vocalist Daryl Stamps, guitarist James Robert Farmer, bassist Matt McChord, and drummer Dillon Napier are a raring blaze of rock & roll passion and intensity that gets tempered by all that is tender and vulnerable in a disillusioned heart. The opened-ended palette that STA possesses would mean nothing if it weren't rooted in a solid approach to songwriting. Collaborative as it is, each individual's particular gift is counted, sorted, and placed at the mercy of song. Singling out those songs here, for dissection, does the band a disservice because Devout/The Modern Hymn is an album, conceived, written, and recorded as a series of tunes that interlock with one another musically, if not lyrically. Words, melodies, shifting, complex, and syncopated rhythmic structures are wed to adventurous harmonics that are thunderously, chaotically beautiful. Don't expect to hear them on "modern rock" radio, but pay close attention. If they can continue to develop their enigmatic approach, weather the storms of touring, financial crises, and the adventurous challenges of their musically restless vision, this band will influence a scene that desperately needs one at the moment, and perhaps leave an enduring mark on rock.

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