Placeholder - I Don't Need Forgiveness (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


I Don't Need Forgiveness (2013)

Black Numbers

The run-in until year's end is gonna be filled with some amazing records. I'd been anticipating a couple and Placeholder was one of them. I Don't Need Forgiveness ideally justifies the hopes and expectations. With so much drama and sincerity packed in, Placeholder continue in their mold as a band who make earnest music sound so sweet. The acclaim as one of the bands you need to be listening to holds true, now more than ever.

When I heard last year's Thought I Would Have Been Somebody By Now the Lifetime influence won me over. I knew in four tracks that there was a lot of promise held. From there, jarring would be one way of describing Forgiveness. "Above" is unrestrained and for someone like me who took a lot to Daylight's and Citizen's records this year, it sticks perfectly. The emo-punk undertones amid the melodic craft that Placeholder shells out so well and Brandon Gepfer's vocals juxtapose in the most fitting manner.

With guitars dancing in and out a la Balance and Composure, I admire how Placeholder flow with that Seattle '90s grungy vibe, yet keep their songs rife with a contemporary sound that shows on the interplay in tracks like "Stay Here" and "Slow Down." Testing the waters of hardcore and melodic grunge on the latter proves no challenge as the track builds from cracking drums to elegant guitars. There's a genuine drive there, and it's something that you find in droves on this album.

"December 2011" shows the band's contrast and versatility, with a neat guitar-driven ballad that comes off explicit but vulnerable. Regrets and the loss of true love - Gepfer's muse combined. It's remarkable how he dusts them off here. "One Year" cracks away in the same pattern as the aforementioned but as it leaves a melodic composition at the start and bellows into a profound grungy exposition midway through, you appreciate more and more the brilliance of Gepfer's take on romance.

Placeholder's name should be made with I Don't Need Forgiveness. They've got something special and if this isn't their breakout, then I don't know what will be. If they pop up on a list or two at year's end, take note that you fucked up if you missed out on this.