I had to bow out of my show tonight due to still being sick. It broke my heart to have to do it because it was a show I was really looking forward to but I know that, although sharing is caring, sharing my strep throat with a sold-out crowd is not the best idea so here I am. Sitting at home, half miserable, half ready to take on the world, with no crappy TV left to watch after sleeping through most of my Monday. Thankfully, I have some amazing albums to share with you so let’s spend tonight digging into some of those starting with the new album ‘s/t’ from Indications.
This twelve-song album icks off with “god is a __ and is fucking mad (get sick)”. This opening track instantly hits you in the gut the wall of sound that is Indications. It is fuzzy, grungy, and intense but with a clear composition and organization to it. After about forty-five seconds of instrumentation, the vocals come and add an almost eerie element to the intense soundscape being created as the song continues on. There’s something a little Queens of the Stoneage about this opening song but it’s so much more than that. There are other moments in this track that reminded me of Brand New with others reminding me of something more intense. Being just under two minutes long, this song felt quick and left me with a lot of unanswered questions but, no need to fear, there are still eleven more songs to go.
The second track is “our lungs” and I instantly noticed that the fuzz and haze had cleared up in every element of this track giving you a very raw look and listen to Indications. Again, I can’t shake the Brand New comparison with the overall delivery of the vocals but, for this song, you get more of a grunge inspiration behind everything. Rises and falls are intense in the instrumentation yet the vocals seem to stay a bit flatlined. This could typically lean towards a bad thing but I loved what it brought to this song. It almost gives you this feeling of everything is all the same while everything is changing at the same time. Okay, let’s blame my deep thoughts on the amount of DayQuil flowing through my system but, really, this element made “our lungs” a true stand-out for me.
After the quick and beautiful interlude that is “…”, “vulture sounds” came in and gave me a chance to catch my breath, Indications pulled me back into their world with “vulture sounds”. This song comes with a much more straight-up punk energy. It’s a furious and frantic song with a ridiculously quick pace and loud guitars reigning supreme throughout the song yet I found a sense of peace in the song. Although it’s quick, Indications never lets this song get away from them or rule them. They stand in control throughout this song and it shows yet another powerful side of this multi-faceted band.
Speaking of other sides of Indications, I feel like you get a small glimpse into their tender side when it comes to “casie”. Don’t misread that, this is far from a ballad-like track or anything like that but there’s a sense of darkness and almost hopelessness in the vocals throughout “casie” that I felt was completely different from the previous couple of tracks. That being said, there’s still no lack of energy meaning this is yet another amazing track that will perfectly drown you in emotion, energy, and passion.
That passion continues to come through loud and clear in “antichondriac” but with an almost pop-punk influence. “antichondriac” was instantly a favorite of mine reminding me of bands like Iron Chic and The Menzingers in a way with the lyrics and vocal styling while remaining completely original and completely Indications. I have to be honest, I wasn’t expecting such an infectious ode to pop-punk from Indications just based on what I had previously heard but I was here for it and this is a sound that the group does so well. I selfishly hope they dive a bit more into this influence in the remaining songs on ‘s/t’.
At just a minute and forty-one seconds long, you could consider “crush” yet another interlude of sorts but I feel like there’s more to this song than that. Gorgeous and haunted piano notes dance on top of an almost tribal feeling beat leaving you with an intense and stark contrast while also giving you so much drama that it’s almost hard to fathom. I don’t know who is doing the piano in this track but I know that it made me instantly want to go down to my shiny 88 keys and figure it out because it was so beautiful, so emotive, so perfect.
“drunk on chablis” shook me back to life and back to my computer after the beauty that was “crush”. Another just super solid track, I feel like this was the first time I allowed myself to dig into the lyrics of this track. Pure poetry. That’s all I have to say. The words, unsurprisingly, are fairly dark and grim yet so honest and so raw that it’s impossible to ignore the beauty in them all. I feel like this song reminded me of Thrice with the epicness of it. There’s something almost orchestral about the arrangement with the rises and falls that make me say this but let me know what this track makes you think of. I have a feeling it will be a wide range as there are so many elements throughout this songs that you could pick to relate to.
At just over five and a half minutes, “deep fathom (get well)” is the longest track on this release but, when listening in passing, you wouldn’t notice it. There’s something mesmerizing about this song that I just could not put my finger on but it had me completely lost throughout the track. I love the patience and constraint that this song shows. This could easily have been a fast and furious track purely based on the lyrics but, instead, Indications takes their time with every word and note in a stunning manner. I also liked the subtle nods back to the opening track, “god is a __ and is fucking mad (get sick)”. I’m not going to give those nods away because they are genius but I will say that is a song to play on the loudest volume possible while just letting yourself get lost in Indications’ world.
“bruise” is a wordy song but the words show the brilliant storytelling that Indications does. I feel like the instrumentation takes a bit of a back seat to the vocals in this track finally giving you a chance to hear that genius front and center. Don’t get me wrong, there are still dazzling guitar parts scattered throughout this track and other powerful moments of pure intensity from the drums but, all-in-all, I just felt like this song focused more on the vocals and for good reason. The words in this song will give you chills.
After another quick “…” interlude, it’s time for the final track, “blood meal”. When I say this is how to end an album, I mean it. This final track doesn’t let down on the energy or intensity in any way, shape, or form. It’s just as emotive and just as powerful as all of the previous tracks if not more so. It almost leaves you with more questions about Indications while, at the same time, leaving you completely satisfied with the intense emotional power that you got from all of the previous tracks.
Full disclosure, I had heard a couple of singles from this album prior to listening to this as a whole to review it for you. I loved those singles (which is why I wanted to review the whole album) but have to say, Indications created a full piece of art here. This album deserves to be listened to in full, in a dark room, with the volume turned all the way up and zero distractions around you. It’s a genius piece of work that will both feel familiar while feeling completely new and innovative.
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