Build Us Airplanes - At the End of the Day [12-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Build Us Airplanes

At the End of the Day [12-inch] (2011)

Sell the Heart Records

Build Us Airplanes deals in (soft) indie rock. While the group lacks the grit and anger of Archers of Loaf, it at least ha the tunefulness of Nada Surf, Straylight Run and mid-period Cursive. They put effort into their playing and presentation, and it shows. At the End of the Day's sides aren't denoted by numbers, but rather by the opening lines of the first song on each side. This is a group that wants listeners to focus on the lyrics. Also, the record sleeve has a picture of a bear.

I like bears.

The general theme behind the songs is one of being in transition, and not in a good way. "The Running Song" is caught between waking and dream worlds, with a haze of memories swirling around. The lines that stick out, and in turn define the record, are easily "All of our face change / Memories erased from our minds / Another barricade / Past impressions made / Held in time." "Fold Up" and "The Road Home" deal with bad times and failing hopes. "Salt in the Wounds" is fucking called "Salt in the Wounds." And so on.

Propping these downers up, though, is the music. Build Us Airplanes adds plenty of agreeable indie rock segments to temper the depressed imagery. Whether it's the way the band members shout out the defiant chorus "Lost Son" ("Another chorus sung from our father's lost son / We won't speak of our sins") or the way they add layers of chiming guitars on that very same track, the songs possess a certain musicality that lifts the material. "On and On," in particular, comes together wonderfully in a cacophony of guitars and drums.