The Age of Rockets

The Drive Home

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It can be assumed that The Age of Rockets founder Andrew Futral was in a state of emotional distress when he was writing The Drive Home, because his songs have such a visceral plaintiveness to them that it's hard to believe he's faking it all, making himself sound desolately lonely and miserable just for effect. And so even though musically The Age of Rockets is very much an indie electronica band inspired by the Postal Service, lyrically there are a lot of emo references hidden among the languid spacey synthesizer chords and beeps. Futral is completely focused on the pain in life. "Just because it hurts/don't mean that it's love" he breathes out in his shaky falsetto in "Pétales Aiment la Saleté," as if it's taken him a long time to even get to that distinction, and the nearly 17-minute closer, "Let's See If The Bastards Can Do 90" is based around lyrical cycles of how everything that happens "reminds you how alone you are." He's so consumed by his despair that he nearly becomes pathetic (the one exception being his tormented Bright Eyes-esque screams in "Oh Sailor, Sail"). Yet there's something about the pathos of Futral's performance that's very honest and prevents The Drive Home from being weighed down by masochism and self-pity. This is then aided by the already detached nature of the electronica-base that rests behind the words, and the music's lack of standard emo power chords and painfully strummed acoustic guitars keeps Futral's lyrics from over-emphasizing the already forlorn verbal testament to solitude and pain. It's emotional and sad, but not ad nauseam. Overall, it's a nice strategy, with just enough feeling to make it affective without it suffering from emo's over-sentimentality or electronica's coldness, which makes The Drive Home a fairly compelling and listenable record.

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