If one hears a couple of songs off this album, one could think of Damiera as another Braid or At The Drive-In aping band, but this perception dissapears after listening to the whole thing. This young band was surely influenced by these indie and punk heroes, but the sound found in this release comes from other places too: the technical guitars and bass works of Gatsbys American Dream or Brazil, bouncy lines reminscent of Minus the Bear and airy as well energetic singing close to, yes, Braid.
But these boys go way further than just aping these recognized artists. Originality is a word used way too often, but it can be applied to these young men who recently signed to Equal Vision (always a good sign). Dave Raymond, singer and guitarist, is certainly the standout of this record, leading his bandmates with some perfect singing and great guitar-playing into making a record where no two songs are the same but that still holds an incredible flow. This appears right off the bat with "Immure", where these guys' talent appears in grandiose form, with impressive jazz-influence riffing and slight post-hardcore noodling by Raymond and Whittington, along with some great bouncy-bass lines courtesy of Henry and some technical but not-overly present drumming by McRae.
Tracks like "I am Pulse" and "Flora:Yield" show a post-punk influenced style of indie-rock, making you want to dance while catching you off guard with technical guitar noodling (especially in "Flora:Yield") and some great lyrics ("I'm ecstatic in my celebration/welling up from a lasting decay that's failing now"). And to add some more flavour, touches of prog-rock come in places (à la Gatsbys American Dream or even Ryan's Hope). "Via Invested" starts with some catchy lines and develops into a great track with some beautiful and prominent bass-lines and along with some great double-guitar parts. "Ember Eason" calms things down a bit, without stopping the flow, with again some great bass-lines (the best I've hear in some time) and some smart power-chords (!). "Broken Hands" slows things down a tiny bit with some impressive lyrics ("we build with broken hands/keeps us impressed with our lies/almost courageous enough to face our selfishness/inactive while we stand/we save legs for fist fights") just before the last track, "Obsessions", hits us to finish off the album in grand fashion.
After their debut EP "Damiera EP" (which contained the brilliant songs "Heartbeat" and "Slow by Still"), Damiera have offered us an incredible effort with "M(u)sic". I can't stress enough how superb this release is and I just can't wait for their next one. Hope it'll another album of the year, because this one is.
RIYL: Braid, Gatsbys American Dream, Minus the Bear, Mock Orange, .Moneen., Texas is the Reason