For Against – Coalesced

For Against

Words on Music is a great label from Minneapolis, and coincidently they’re located just across the bridge and down a few blocks from where I live. The only other release that I’ve heard from them was the self-titled Coastal record, which I enjoyed substantially. I’ve never heard of For Against before, but I must say after hearing this record that I’m very happy to have been exposed to their delicate and ultra-catchy form of emotional pop. The Lincoln, Neb. band is able to come up with lush and melodic sounding songs that are able to deeply affect the listener into blissful and melancholic moments.
“Medication” starts things off with one of the catchiest songs I’ve heard in a long time. Beautiful acoustic guitars chime together while Jeffrey Runnings’ vocals are so exquisitely pleasant that they achieve a near euphoric state for the duration of song. The other musicians in the band are equally as talented with crisp and intricate drumming and bass guitar that fills in the gaps quite nicely. “So Long” has more of the great guitar work as well with clean, picked-out guitars intertwining and creating a distinct melody. “Fuel” takes on a slower feel than the first two songs but offers up repetitive guitars that sway back and forth really nicely. The title track continues with ultra-melodic guitar parts that are extremely crisp and quite memorable.
“Outside a Heart” is gorgeous with its unique use of rhythm by way of hammer-on’s and pull-off’s. It’s evident by the clear and brilliant tones of the guitars that the band uses Fender Twin Reverbs (an extremely clean and pretty sounding amp) to get such a purified and sought after sound. They are excellent at creating memorable guitar parts that will stick in your mind for days, and I must say at this point I’m truly loving this record. Every track seems to be better than the one before it. “Shelflife” takes things down a notch or two but continues with an emotional song that is catchy and that shines like the rest of the album. “Love You” ends quite nicely with cascading guitars that play graceful melodies that blow along like the wind.
I really can’t say enough good things about how much this record has impressed me. The songs are gems that you will treasure for long periods of time. This band is quite effective in producing melodic pieces of music that will leave a lasting impression on your mind and ears. If you’re a fan of anything melodic and poppy or are looking for a new and innovative band to listen to, this record is simply a must.