The Truth In Our Bodies by Earth MovesRelease date: November 4, 2016
Label: Truthseeker Records
I am a bit rubbish. More than a bit, if I’m honest. I got this promo a while back so I could review it. I’d already pre-ordered the record, so when it arrived I looked at myself good and hard and thought ‘I really should sort out that review; it’ll be great to do that from the vinyl’. Then real life got in the way and I forgot about it… So this review needs to start with a heartfelt apology. Earth Moves, I am very sorry for being shit. Please don’t hold it against me.
Anyway, let’s talk about the record, shall we? Brighton based Earth Moves have released an absolutely cracking debut album, a beautiful, emotive, authentic and varied album with a maturity that belies their relative youth as a band. My only real criticism of The Truth In Our Bodies is that, well, at best part of 40 minutes, it’s just too short. I would have happily had more. As criticisms go, that’s a pretty good one to have, I guess.
The band wears a host of influences on their collective sleeve, taking post-hardcore, expansive post-rock, screamo (proper screamo; no eyeliner in sight), sludgy metal and dreamy shoegaze, with different flavours taking precedence across each of the six tracks on offer, bringing a real sense of variety across the album, but never once losing its identity or feeling incoherent. Indeed, this consistency is driven in some ways by the impassioned and emotional performance of Jordan Hill, the anchor and focal point around which the music swirls, by part angry and melancholic, expansive and still somehow intimate. It’s an emotional listen and a truly engaging record.
Opener ‘Omen’ acts as a building introduction, a short, sharp stab after a lovely emotive introductory refrain that builds into a thundering riffy climax, topped with an emotive bellow. ‘House of Flowers’ follows with some prime Mono worship for the first half, before taking a turn into blackgaze territory and coming across like the bastard son of Deafheaven and Alcest. The song builds and the riffs move in unpredictable directions, rising and falling, that nonetheless feel consistent and are above all really, really effective.
‘Iridescent’ is probably my favourite track on the record, an 8 minute epic that introduces some of the heavier moments on the album, almost pure black metal fury topped with screamo vocals; this gives way to blackgaze introspection, building into climaxes before harnessing the power of the big fat post-metal riff to close the song out. It’s a powerful statement of intent, blending several genres together wonderfully, and I really want to see it live. ‘There Was An Apple Orchard Here’ leans on reverb soaked shoegaze and post-rock vibes to great effect, and ‘Pia Matar’ is a staggering tour de force of a song, delivering an intense journey through shades of subdued, clever post-rock, bleak post-hardcore and absolutely crushing sludgy metal riffs. It’s ridiculously powerful and a massive listen. After this, album closer ‘Breathing Solemnity Into The Deep Night’ feels a little too subdued, a delicate repeating post-rock introduction that builds over some deceptively clever and understated riffs before a final, incredibly intense salvo of black metal riffs and screams. It turns the song on its head and leaves the album on a deeply satisfying note.
Praise needs to be heaped on Joe Clayton who has wrestled the varying musical themes displayed across the album and reigned them in to reinforce a consistency of sound; this helps to gel the record while allowing enough space for the differing influences to take dominance when required, and for this to feel natural and coherent to the listener. I suspect this was no mean feat, and the balance and clarity of the instrumentation on the record is wonderful to behold.
This is a fantastic album. If you have a passing interest in heavy and emotional music, then this is an album you really, really should hear. I’ve listened to it a lot and every time I get something new. In The Truth In Our Bodies, Earth Moves have created a beautiful piece of music, an emotionally engaging journey with peaks and troughs, a brutal intensity and a pervasive sadness that draws the listener in, not letting go until the bitter end. More like this please chaps.