O'Brother - Endless Light

Review by Tracy Galarza

O’Brother’s long-awaited new record has finally arrived folks.  The Atlanta band’s third full length, Endless Light is due out on Triple Crowd Records/Favorite Gentlemen.  Produced by Manchester Orchestra’s Andy Hull and Brad Fisher, Endless Light finds refinement in the band’s previous efforts. 

Endless Light begins grandly, with heavy drums and the O’Brother signature guitar sound we’ve all grown to love.  Tanner Merritt’s vocals on the record are perfectly haunting as one has come to expect but there’s a whole other dimension to them now.  “Your Move” and “Complicated End Times” finds Merritt practically crooning but rest assured his signature vocals are still very present.  

Sonically, Michael Martin’s head banging drumbeats are as rad as ever.  Even though Endless Light is more theatrical dare I say than records past, you’ll get plenty of head banging opportunities here.  The guitar work is heavy and intricate and Anton Dang’s bass work gave me the goosies, especially on “Burn.”  If Endless Light were a movie, then the record’s title track is absolutely the climax.  

I love the moodiness of “Bloodlines.”  Then “Time Is A Length of Rope” hits you and you’re all “what the hell is going on? Why do I feel like running in place and/or playing really dramatic and emotional air guitar?” “Why do I feel like a goddamn gothic ballerina twirling about in the sound?” Get out of here O’Brother with that twangyness, it’s perfect.  Almost like a heavier, darker Radiohead.  Then the fuzziness in “I Am (Become Death)” hits you and it’s so damn gritty I wish I were in space or in the desert at night staring at the fucking stars and not in my apartment going ham on my drums…ahem desk.  But here I am.  To top off the record they give us, “Realm of the Physical,” a twangy-western-vibe infused yet totally atmospheric jam.  It’s spacey as all get out. 

Overall, Endless Light feels full.  It’s well structured and melodic as hell.  Endless Light is a natural progression from Disillusion and a less exciting one from Garden Window.  But that shouldn’t discourage you.  It’s an absolutely solid record and one that I’m excited to hear live.  Bring on the head bangover. 

Rating: 4.5/5

Listen to “Bloodlines” and “Time Is A Length of Rope”, the whole thing really

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