1905 isn’t an easily pegged band. Yeah, they played what a lot would refer to as the less-modern definition of screamo. However, it’s not fair to limit the band to one genre alone when their music traveled so far beyond the restraints of screamo. Voice is an album that showcases their versatility, with both male and female voices, harmonies and shrill screams alike and a generally raw sound. And their words surely aren‘t sung, spoken or screamed in vain. 1905 had a message.
Voice kicks off with “Introduction,” a track whose name is rather deceiving, as it isn’t much of a musical indication of what’s to come in the rest of the album. After nearly a minute of garbled noise, the album really begins with “Control,” featuring the soft voice of a female with light, mid-paced music in the background. Halfway into the song, a male voice is added into the concoction and before you get accustomed to their delicate harmonies, both once-subdued voices revert to frenetic screams and back again in an almost bi-polar fashion. This form comes to be a staple throughout Voice.
“Quote” quickly breaks up the album’s short-lived consistency by remaining slow-paced and acoustic throughout the whole track. Since the soft voice of a female was already introduced on Voice, a track such as “Quote” doesn’t disrupt the cohesiveness of the album.
The album’s title track resumes the pattern of combination male/female vocals screaming/singing, right into perhaps the band’s strongest, most memorable track “Can’t Change Everything.” The song quickly builds from soft “oooh”s and light guitar work to a fast-paced drum beat and shrill screams of “Just because I can’t change everything, doesn’t mean I can’t change anything." Once the song reaches the midpoint, the singing comes to a halt and words are quickly spoken: “To envision a world without chains but recognize that we, as individuals, can only chip away at the links. One at a time, day by day. To have the ability to wage quiet wars in our everyday lives, and recognize the subtle victories when they happen….“ These words only scratch the surface of the wisdom the band offers the listener. “One brick today is one less for tomorrow“ wraps up the nearly three-minute, chaotic track.
The nearly all instrumental, guitar-oriented track “Side by Side” soon follows with only the lines “All the things that we oppose and all the things that we are for...just like the things that we despise alongside things that we adore“ present to break it up. “Side by Side” works as a smooth transition track to the completely acoustic instrumental “Missing.”
The final few surprises on Voice come near the album’s end. “Throw” throws the album a curveball with its upbeat folk-punk, acoustic sound and politically-minded lyrics (“Turn your tanks around. Use the metal to build a playground“). “Silhouette,” a beautiful song composed entirely on the piano and the spoken-word track “A Conversation” help to wrap up the album in a memorable way.
This Voice is one you won’t soon forget.