Your Meteor = Minus the Bear x Toe
Laying back, staring up at the vast night sky and thinking about the mysteries of life—that’s where I find myself every time I put this album on. Music works best when it’s treated like a rollercoaster of emotions, and that’s exactly the kind of ride that Your Meteor have constructed with their latest LP. Syncopated rhythms, interweaving guitar lines, playful melodic vocals—Byzantium is full of it all and much more.
From the clean, acoustic “Gordian Knot” to the riff-heavy, almost hardcore “Pacify,” this album moves through a lot of territory. What’s so impressive is how seamlessly the mood weaves between extremes. In each song, the orchestration morphs between levels of acoustic and distorted electric, always subtly introducing piano, more vocals or any number of other interesting voices. The energy flows effortlessly from the first song through last, thanks to clever transitions that perfectly meld together the end of one track with the beginning of the next. Each song is incredibly dynamic, featuring many tempo shifts and time signature changes, but it’s all done in such a clean, natural manner that it’s sometimes difficult to notice when exactly these changes have occurred.
Most songs build from clean riffs into soupier jam sections, which often carried me away in a river of chords, licks and kicks. Harmonizing vocals thicken and magnify important sections, and additional instruments join in when things get heavy. The guitar lines in every song are ridiculous. The chords often give off a long, stringy, dramatic My Morning Jacket vibe while the licks are fast and precise. Vocals take up a melodic role and fit as a lead for the mix. Instruments fade in and out of the foreground constantly, in a way that feels like Your Meteor were craftily showing me right where all the good bits were. Every instrument just seems to know exactly what its role is at every moment of the song, and as a listener it’s utterly blissful.
From clean and tight riffs to loose, crazy explosions of flavor in jam format—Byzantium masterfully weaves together so much variety that I’m amazed it all fits into one album. (Urban Lounge: 03.20; The Acoustic Space: 03.25) –Alex Blackburn