Even from the first note it is clear the high level of intricacy and variety ‘Heirs’is going to conjure. Opener ‘Run Home’ springs into life with jubilant gang chants before silky ambient textures leak into punishing beats and convulsive riffing while ‘Wasps’ buzzes with stinging flurries of intricate guitar work. Since introducing more sung vocals on 13’s ‘All Hail Bright Futures’ the band have opened up so many directions that they can propel their already complexly engaging music. ‘These Secret Kings I Know’ and ‘Redesigned A Million Times’ leap and bound with genuine power behind them but also possess poppy vocal hooks that stick to the frontal lobe. It’s essentially trademark ASIWYFA but taken back to it’s roots, moulded and let loose as something much more accessible, engrossing and uncompromisingly human. The band has always had heart, but this is it sewn proudly on their sleeve.
The balance between gloriously stirring and rousingly fist-pumping that the band have perfected across their career is at its peak on ‘Heirs’ as well. ’Fucking Lifer’ thumps with ballsy bass while also hovering with underlying angelic choruses before ‘A Beacon, A Compass, An Anchor’ strides with clattering stampeding rhythm. It’s the title track that embodies everything that is great about ASIWYFA though; off key chords, building refrains and spacey waves of ambience build into rollicking drums and triumphant hooks all held tightly together by the bands unspoken connection. As ‘Tryer, You’ sees things out with clinking notes and soaring hums, it’s obvious the level of care, precision and time that has been pumped into every second of ‘Heirs’ to make it as sprawling and majestic as possible.
Overall ‘Heirs’ is a spiraling joyous display of musicianship of such a caliber that only comes about every once in while. With vibrant storytelling, genre transcending ideology and enough riffs to keep you warm right through winter, this is another consistently wonderful offering from the Irish four-piece that will sound as minty fresh in five years as it does today.
‘Heirs’ by And So I Watch You From Afar is out now on Sargent House.
Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)