Self-Evident - We Built A Fortress on Short Notice (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


We Built A Fortress on Short Notice (2012)

DoublePlusGood Records

What is clearly evident here is that Self-Evident take a musical course that flirts with those taken by bands like Burning Airlines and Firehose. In fact, this, the band's sixth long-player, seems to mix up the music of those two bands and the result is perhaps what you would expect from that amalgam. There are the mathier elements which come from the less than straightforward song structures, the warmth of the angular guitar tone that has a jaunty quality a la Firehose and a vocal performance that sounds remarkably like J. Robbins; all of this goes to producing some choppy indie rock that isn't afraid to go off on tangents if it makes even the slightest bit of sense (and in some cases where it doesn't make sense).

It's difficult to try and deconstruct the tracks on this record as it's been assembled with care and precision, but suffice to say that there are quiet moments and there are some louder moments. Not once though did I feel that I was being hammered into submission to enjoy this record and there are some stunning moments when the guitar, bass and drums just draw me along effortlessly, only to be joined by the vocals which increase the beauty of the track.

I am not a musician beyond being able to hammer out a couple of basic chords on the guitars that I almost pointlessly own, but I can see how people write music of the more basic melodic punk rock tuneage. With bands like Self-Evident, I cannot begin to consider where the starting point might be for a song or how they get to the end. It seems as if there is a satellite navigation set up to go from A to Z, via every letter of the alphabet but not in the logical order one would expect. That's what I love about this math-like approach when it is done as well as it is on We Built A Fortress on Short Notice. The key factor for me is whether I find the intricacies of the music and vocals too jarring to follow when bands try to construct these off kilter compositions. Self-Evident ensure that any such jarring is both minimal and almost necessary, therefore, being welcomed by my ears.

I might not have conveyed enough about We Built A Fortress on Short Notice to do this justice but it is one damn fine album.