Something To Ruin

Ages And Ages

Partisan Records, 2016

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


I feel quite confident saying that Ages And Ages is the most underrated band from Portland, Oregon right now. For more than half a decade, their choral pop and sunny indie folk has brought us hand clapping fun and singing from many mouths, and despite several lineup changes, they've progressed with strong, cohesive albums.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“They Want More” starts the album of perfectly with gentle acoustic strumming and a gritty indie folk delivery that drills a memorable tambourine into your head, not to mention the collective harmonies. “Kick Me Out” follows a similar path, with plenty of backing vocals, before the swift and quirky “Something To Ruin,” where falsetto vocals turn into cooing melodies that wouldn't be out of place as an outtake from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

Ages And Ages continues with the alluring tunes in the middle of the disc, where the psych rock influenced “So Hazy” sits pretty close to a pop song – it is simply irresistible. “All Of My Enemies” unfolds like a spiritual awakening where a majestic group sing-a-long soars, before the percussive heavy and campfire feeling of “Cascadia Waving Back.”

Near the end, “I'm Moving” moves closer to the synth influenced indie rock that is so common today, while “Now I Know” and “Caught Up In It” are closer to the singer-songwriter genre, the latter being a quiet and brilliant five minutes of various noisemakers set to a confessional ballad. Appropriately, the album exits on the eclectic “As It Is,” which encompasses all the ranges explored on the album into one building, uproarious finale of beauty and grace.

With nearly a dozen artists contributing their talents here (including Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse fame), this is a lovely, textured affair that gets better with each subsequent listen. It's a logical and remarkable extension from their work on Divisionary that every music fan should try on.

Rating: A

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