A name like Absinthe Blind would lead listeners to expect more than pleasantly composed modern rock. The Everyday Separation is huge in its scope and sound, with its modern rock played to the largest proportion possible. The music is not without passion or meaning, but in the end, there’s something missing from what Absinthe Blind does, and the band never fully rises above these inadequacies.
The band makes pretty music. It is, without a doubt, heartfelt and touching, and the blend of acoustic and electric guitars gives it a sonic depth. The vocals of Adam Fein have a sensitively injured quality about them. Nothing about Absinthe Blind could be called bad because everyone here seems to be operating up to their potential. Still, The Everyday Separation never seems to aspire towards anything more. It’s pretty music, yes, but it’s pretty music without an edge.
The highlight of The Everyday Separation is the haunted “Vanity Calls” with a sparse arrangement and the vocal trading between both Adam Fein and Erin Fein. When Absinthe Blind moves more towards this style of music, they do much better, such as in the quieter moments of “Daydream Set” and the empty “You Should Get Out More”. Unfortunately, the band’s tendency to want to create sweeping songs kills any of the atmosphere created by these moodier arrangements. The potential they show in these songs is sadly disregarded when they fall into the alt-rock trap.
With such sensitive-boy lyrics like “In the land where I’m from / We survive on a song / Falling past everyone” from “The Two Leading In”, the band trades meaning for things that resemble some sort of depth. They’re not saying anything, and they’re barely creating any impression. The lyrics are just sort of there and don’t affect the music one way or another, and they do not save Absinthe Blind from the mistakes they make.
Absinthe Blind can’t be written off as being bad, but the band simply isn’t interesting enough to hold listener’s attention. Despite the bold name, the band is regrettably bland. The Everyday Separation reveals a band that has tried hard, but in the end, maybe not hard enough. It is without a true direction or purpose, and while what is there is essentially fine to listen to, there’s always going to be the feeling that this could have been, and probably should have been so much more.
// Notes from the Road
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