[2 June 2014]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
If there’s anything to be said of Rescuer, a Tampa-based band, it’s that they certainly play LOUD. But this is also a group that plays loosely with dynamics, too. Opening song “White Noise”, on their latest release Anxiety Anserwng, sounds at first like something that could have come out of the Guided by Voices catalogue, until the screamo voice kicks in, which gives way to initially softer work on “Muscle Memory”. Clearly, this is a group that is interested in changing things up, which makes them such an invigorating listen. “Out of Focus”, the first single lifted from the album, wouldn’t be out of place on a Big Ups release. This is a group that favors a certain pop sensibility, and makes for an interesting and refreshing take on the post-hardcore sound. It’s noteworthy that Jack Shirley had a hand in producing this, as he produced stuff by Deafheaven, whose sound Rescuer is remotely reminiscent of.
However, if there’s one thing that Rescuer is guilty of, it’s being a tad bit on the monochromatic side. After you get through the first three or four songs, the album feels a little bit same-y, all barked vocals and harsh guitars. This is a shame considering that the opening of the record seems to point towards something different in terms of sound. However, Anxiety Answering is still an invigorating listen. There’s plenty for those into a more hardcore punk and metal sound to be enamoured by. “Leavetaking” is full of heavy riffage. Meanwhile, “Matrimony” is something a lot softer than much of which precedes it. Clearly, this is a band that isn’t afraid to mix up the formula. Overall, this is a sterling release for those into post-hardcore aesthetics, and there’s much to like with Anxiety Anwersing. Even though it isn’t as perfect as one might hope, there’s enough here for those wanting to pump their fist in the air to be taken in by.