Really From — „Really From“ (March 12, 2021)

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•■•  Bostonský kvartet spojením čítankového indie~jazzu s emo a math~rockem zkoumá komplikace identity při demontáži zastaralých indie~rockových paradigmat.
•■•  S využitím vlivů jazzové improvizace, minimalistické kompozice a punkrockového étosu bostonská kapela Really From zavrhuje tradiční žánr a vzorce ve prospěch explorativních, nezávislých rockových sloučení. Od roku 2014 jejich neustále se rozvíjející zvuk začlenil stylové dotykové kameny od matematického rocku po ambient, zkoumající témata místa, já a kultury prostřednictvím dialektu zcela vlastního. Michi Tassey (klávesy, syntezátorová basa) a Chris Lee~Rodriguez (kytara) si pravidelně vyměňují vokální vedení, posouvají perspektivy a rozsahy, jak jejich písně kaskádovitě procházejí rozmanitými hudebními světy, lámají tematické otázky týkající se mezigeneračního traumatu, tokenismu a rodičovství přistěhovalců. Trumpetista Matt Hull a bubeník Sander Bryce často přebírají své hlavní hlasy a dále překonfigurují tradiční pojmy žánru a psaní písní.
Location: Boston, Massachusetts 
Album release: March 12, 2021
Record Label: Topshelf
Duration:     34:22
1. Apartment Song   4:27
2. Quirk   4:12
3. Yellow Fever   3:28
4. Try Lingual   3:18
5. I Live Here Now   4:08
6. Last Kneeplay   1:07
7. I’m From Here   5:07
8. In the Spaces   5:05
9. The House   3:30
■  Really From is: Chris Lee~Rodriguez, Sander Bryce, Michi Tassey & Matt Hull
■  Chris Lee~Rodriguez – Vocals, Electric Guitar, Classical Guitar
■  Sander Bryce — Drum Set
■  Michi Tassey — Vocals, Piano, Keyboard, Synth Bass (Tracks 1 and 7)
■  Matt Hull — Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Trombone
■  Sai Boddupalli – Sound Design, Programming, Synth Bass (Tracks 2, 4~6, 8), Bass Guitar (Track 3)
Engineered by Seth Manchester at Machines with Magnets and Sai Boddupalli at Grind Central Station. Additional Engineering by Zach Weeks at God City Studios.
Tracks 1~8 Mixed by Seth Manchester
Track 9 Mixed by Sai Boddupalli
Produced by Sai Boddupalli
Mastered by Zach Weeks
Creative Direction & Photography by Nick Surette
Cover concept by Michi Tassey
Photo Assistant — George Annan
Food and Prop Styling by Madison Trapkin
Layout & Design by Jess GrahamChris Lee~Rodriguez, Sander Bryce, Michi Tassey & Matt Hull. ©Madison Arrichiello
by Charley Ruddell ⌊March 12, 2021 ⌋ Score: 7.8 
■•■  If deciphering self is the ethos driving Really From, the band’s main objective is amour~propre. The group’s name, the result of a restructuring in 2018, is derived from a question often aimed at its mixed~race members: “Where are you really from?” On the Boston emo/math~rock quartet’s exuberant third album, this invasive inquiry is ambitiously dissected at every turn. “If you ask me where I’m from/I’ll say the rage, the lights, the sea,” co~lead singer and guitarist Chris Lee~Rodriguez yowls on the anthemic chorus of “I’m From Here,” the album’s thorny crux. It’s a catharsis that carries an electric charge. Really From is self~titled, and with good reason: It’s a bursting still life of a band boasting an emboldened sense of identity.
■Ξ■  The group took a stab at such weighty ideals in 2017 with the unpolished Verse, but their first release in four years wields a presence and confidence cultivated from time spent ruminating on more significant questions. “Mom and Dad/They told me separately/They come from different parts/So what does that make me,” Lee~Rodriguez broods on the album’s candid acoustic closer, “The House.” It’s just one instance of pensive curiosity in an album that’s consistently probing. Elsewhere, some of the more archetypal math~rock songs, like the spirited “Quirk,” bravely detail the clumsy, often ugly path to self~actualization and acceptance, particularly when pertaining to bloodlines. Its frantic, odd~metered shuffle accents such inelegance.
■•■  Declarations of cultural insecurity run throughout the album. “I smile like I understand/But my mind reminds me I can’t,” vocalist and synth bassist Michi Tassey sings on “Try Lingual,” which documents the struggle of communicating with a family member in a foreign language, before a romping salvo of palm~muted riffage ramps up the song’s frustrated message. Such moments of raw power flesh out the picture of a band raised from the mid~aughts school of post~rock mathdom.
■Ξ■  This heterogeneity is unbound. Tassey’s cool, wry delivery on the crunchy intro of “Yellow Fever” reads more Mitski than TWIABP; the exploratory “Apartment Song,” the album’s jazzy, ethereal opener, leans more Kamasi Washington than American Football. Songs like these accent an assertive truth: Really From aren’t afraid to garnish a genre predicated on gatekeepers and semantics with more interesting flavors. On “Last Kneeplay,” the album’s sole instrumental track, classical guitar and trumpet squirm in a playful exchange. The band unfolds layers like these, sporadic as they are, honestly and without hesitation.
■•■  Behind their union of bookish indie jazz and principled punk, Really From are an alliance in which every voice counts, as highlighted on “I Live Here Now,” the album’s most Midwestern emo emulation. Its leadership isn’t beholden to the person singing each verse or chorus, whether that be Lee~Rodriguez or Tassey. Matt Hull takes a calculated, regal trumpet lead when the music veers into an oddly timed phrase, while Sander Bryce’s unbridled drumming is crammed with flourishes and freakish chops. In the kinetic turbulence of clean~toned guitar arpeggios and zippy flams, the chaos feels somehow blissful, even beautiful, as they systematically dismantle post~rock’s white~guy paradigm.
■Ξ■  Dig into Boston’s dense underground circuits of math rock and emo revivalism over the last 20 years and you’ll find a lot of bands with bleeding hearts. But not many are so willing to untangle such complex subject matter with such earnest interest. What demarcates Really From from the rest is the ability to self~examine their unique cultural and musical idiosyncrasies with the intention of transcending diffidence. Really From emulsifies the grief and the peace of it all, the inheritance and its friction, the antipathy and its resolution; from within these blurred lines, they’re reborn. — Pitchfork
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