Ran Away to Sea

I Won't Tell a Soul Except the World

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A vibrant interweaving of rhythmic complexity, prog rock sophistication, and emo-ish passion, the sophomore release of Ran Away to Sea is a powerhouse indie rock record. Interspersing elegant piano/keyboard melodies through rising and falling passages of varying intensity, every track offers more than a few surprises in the span of five minutes. Whether hypnotic ("Breakthrough") or simply haunting ("Paperback"), a variety of moods are distilled in a typically displaced aesthetic. Transcending the more homogenizing trends among the so-called post-emo and post-hardcore scenes, Ran Away to Sea use thoughtful, melodically driven arrangements to carry lyrics of cathartic despair and weary bitterness, with the tracks maintaining their fluidity and never getting swallowed up in their own inertia. Where tracks like "Entrances and Exits" probably have more in common with Weezer than the Get Up Kids, with loud guitars and quirky phrasing dominating the mix, the majority of the tracks travel down more pensive side roads. Still, this is largely a heavy, darkly hued album, with morbid anorexic images dominating "Her Crippled Hand" and suffocating sheets of dissonance exploding in the coda "Free of All Diseases." Overall, an album of startling intensity and focus that is nearly faultless in its execution.

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