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Gracer - Voices Travel (Cover Artwork)

Gracer

Gracer: Voices TravelVoices Travel (2006)
Revelation Records

Reviewer Rating: 3


Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

There only so many ways to emphasize how intense and dynamic a band is, and I'm sure those attempting to make that distinction with On the Might of Princes were quite often stumped. That's why Gracer creates such an interesting juxtaposition; featuring ex-OTMOP drummer Chris Enriquez in his newest p.
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There only so many ways to emphasize how intense and dynamic a band is, and I'm sure those attempting to make that distinction with On the Might of Princes were quite often stumped. That's why Gracer creates such an interesting juxtaposition; featuring ex-OTMOP drummer Chris Enriquez in his newest project, Gracer instead propose reserved, super dreamy indie/emo compositions Elliott fans would be hard-pressed to not enjoy.

Drawing from that vein of blood as well as a smaller one connected to Sunny Day Real Estate's Diary, the band offers a variety of moods despite its usual snail crawl. The standout here is the absolutely beautiful, delicate "Emily Taylor," where Enriquez's angelic voice firmly pleads throughout; "You just looked at me and I said 'Get up on your feet and we'll run...' / Anywhere and never lose hope / I'm on my way to see the world / I'll follow all the way around now." Things get somber with the followup, "Esperanza," but a return to the carefully hopeful affections help create another one of the better tracks on Voices Travel, "One Thousand Souls." Another flip of the moods then immediately occurs with the acoustic, heart-wrenching "Hands," sure to elicit some hard swallowing. "Be Still" is ambient bliss la the ever-namedropped Sigur Rós, climaxing in a powerful swirl of noises and prettily clashing sounds. Vocalist Ryan Mahon gives off momentary Jesse Lacey vibes on closer "The Night Sky," speaking from the context of the most drawn out, experimental tracks of Brand New's leaked demos.

The major problem is that save for the aforementioned "Emily Taylor," none of the tracks are near as compelling as Elliott's stronger material ("Drive Onto Me," "Blessed by Your Own Ghost"). Much of Gracer's songs never quite surpass their descriptive vibe, sauntering through its atmospheres without ever quite shaking the listener out of their sleep. It's like taking a 45-minute vacation in Heaven but never really getting out of the hotel room.

Voices Travel is still an enjoyable early morning listen and throwback to when emo could be quite literal. I can see Gracer strengthening their songwriting chops in the near future to write some assuredly epic jams that could put the listener into sleep paralysis only to jolt them right out. But right now, that's a scary position to be in and one I can't yet rely on Gracer to consistently wake me out of.

STREAM
Emily Taylor
Esperanza
Waiting for Departures

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
insinceredave (July 24, 2006)

Its growin on me, think the score will improve with more listens

Icapped2pac (June 10, 2006)

The singer (and maybe more?) of this band used to be in Satellite Lost, who put out one great EP before they broke up. I like that EP a lot better than I like this album after the first listen. The Elliott comparisons are right on, but to me it sounds like what you would get if you took the most boring parts of "Song In the Air" and stretched them out for 40 minutes. Maybe it'll grow on me, but I doubt it.

Anonymous (June 8, 2006)

this album is incredible and i think they are influenced by elliott but not even close to being a rip-off. on a sidenote, you might want to change something in your review. ryan is the singer and enriquez is the drummer.

Icapped2pac (June 7, 2006)

Oh shit, Ratterman produced this? The Elliott and SDRE/Diary comparisons had me already, but that cements it. I'll be checking this out for sure.

This score is for Mr. Ratterman's ability to seamlessy put whip-ass drum beats and fills into slow(er) songs when he's behind the kit. I'll gladly take him being behind the boards though, too.

Inspection12e (June 7, 2006)

I had to special order this so I'm hoping to pick it up tomorrow.

Score is for the demo.

moos (June 7, 2006)

its a good song, yet not as good as Calm Americans or Calvary Song, Waiting While Under Paralysis, Drag Like Pull, Song In The Air etc.

danperrone (June 6, 2006)

"drive on to me" is seriously one of the best songs i've heard ever

i loooooooove it

Anonymous (June 6, 2006)

he is legend "91025" cover.
maybe i'm stretching, but goodness.

sirens (June 6, 2006)

I cant say I enjoy this, but I cant say its bad.

moos (June 6, 2006)

this album is really good. they draw huge influences from Elliott but cannot be compared. that's just my opinion.

sick production by Kevin Ratterman.

onegirlarmy (June 6, 2006)

Great album, but I just saw Gracer last week and Ryan Mahon is the lead vocalist. Chris Enriquez only does some back-ups.

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