Record #357: Comrades – Safekeeper (2014)

Didn’t I tell you I’d pick this up? Like this year’s Lone/Grey, Safekeeper, the previous album by post-hardcore trio (and super cool folks, even if I had to miss their set at Take Hold Fest last weekend, which made me very sad), gets its strength from its brilliant melding of melodic ambience and brutal metal bursts.
However, compared to their newest effort, Safekeeper spends more of its time on the more post-rock side of the spectrum. Much of the album is instrumental, carried by Joe McElroy’s delicious, delay-heavy guitar riffs.

The vocals that are here are split between bassist Laura McElroy (wife, not sister)’s soft alto and drummer Ben Trussell’s hardcore scream, and they spend their time meditating on spiritual quandaries (i.e., “there’s a map inside my heart to a place I’ve never known”; ”We are wanderers, wanderers all”; ”Hallelu, we don’t know who to sing to”). The lyrics are profound enough in their simplicity that they still weigh heavily through the instrumental passages, leaving the listener to feel their gravity. It’s an effective method, and one that makes Safekeeper a great release.

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