Ivy League - Transparency (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Ivy League

Transparency (2013)

6131 Records

Being touted as the next Title Fight is a pretty tall order, but that's just what the word has been regarding Ivy League TX. Transparency was a record I felt I'd laugh off as a pretender, but still a decent attempt nonetheless. But having initially underestimated the trio and what they could accomplish here, it's a record I strongly urge you to pick up. Seriously, don't let this fly under your radar.

"Canopy" is just why the Title Fight comparison abounds, and the path they carve really opens neatly through a barrage of melodic and powerful variations from punk to alternative. Josh Huff's throaty vocals are what carry the most on the album and it's by no small measure. His penetrative voice, especially on "History Repeats" shines through and when you throw in the canvas that drummer Willie Vega paints, you've got a brilliant recipe. Vega's no doubt just as big a driving force behind Ivy League's sound as Huff's delivery is.

"Coalesce" will call to mind bands like Saves The Day, Make Do and Mend and Lifetime. I get a bigger Daylight vibe from the majority of the record, though, and this song is a stark reminder that there's more than lingering potential. It hits the marks in all the right spots, and draws comparison to a band I personally loved back in the day–Near Miss.

Ivy League toy with dual vocals and slight screamo touches at times, and shine even in the more experimental parts of the record. "Egress" is testament to this via its post-hardcore instrumental tone. Transparency adds so much of a rapid punk-pacing with a distorted alternative setup, that it's a wonder just how well the band sync their musicianship with Huff's vocals. "My Mercenary" spills on a heartbroken past and with Erik Pagel's bass tuned to perfection here, it's a stellar all-around cast on tap. This is an underdog album that'll be making my list at year's end. Get immersed in this. You'll be blown away.