The Early November-In Currents Review:
In 2007 New Jersey’s favorite sons, The Early November, announced their plans for hiatus. Leaving many fans disheartened, the five-piece pop punk/indie outfit lapped the country on a final tour and said their goodbyes.
In recent years, members went on to new projects (Ace Enders and a Million Different People, Jeff Kummer, I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody’s Business, etc.), but the outcome was never quite the same. It was not until late 2011 in which fans would receive their first glimmer of hope through the band’s announcing of a string of reunion shows.
With a tremendous response and just the right timing, The Early November announced their official reunion shortly after, in the beginning of 2012. Along with that came news of their recording a new album, In Currents, with a summer 2012 release date. With fan excitement and expectations set at an all time high, the NJ based outfit had a lot to live up to. Fortunately, they proved more than capable of doing so.
Releasing what may arguably be the band’s strongest entry, In Currents is a high caliber record that captures a band at the top of their game. Picking up the threads of their previous releases and stitching them with their individual identities, The Early November sew a truly complete record. Instead of relying on previously used formulas, the band synthesizes an identity that feels like an old friend with a new face.
The album opener, “A Stain on the Carpet,” introduces a sound that seems and feels like a natural evolution. Despite the slow build of the opening track, TEN waste no time in laying down heavy hitting choruses, strong instrumentation, and quite frankly the best vocal work singer/guitar player Ace Enders has ever delivered. Enders’ voice rings of pitch perfect falsettos, grainy exclamations, and reserved confessions, which culminate in a truly diverse performance. Along with catchy hooks, Enders emits genuinely open lyrics that are never afraid to step out of any of his comfort zones.
On tracks like “Frayed in Doubt,” “Digital Age,” and “Tell Me Why” TEN makes it clear that no one member carries this record. Hard-hitting drums sync the layered arrangement of rhythmic guitars, delicate piano, and steady bass work. The album’s twelve-song track list manages to continuously engage its listener at every turn, and aside from some patchy mix work (the drums fall a little flat), the production on the record does each song justice.
The interdependency on In Currents treats fans to a nostalgic sound that is wrapped in something new. It seems as if each member was able to take something away from the projects they engaged in during the band’s hiatus. Though varied influences are always present amongst bands, one of the most impressive aspects of In Currents lies in the presence of the individual identity and voice of each member. This melding creates a very organic feeling throughout the album as a whole.
It is undeniable that TEN has delivered a truly impressive record that, in hindsight, was well worth the wait. It’ll be curious to see how this record stacks up against the band’s celebrated discography; however In Currents makes it clear that The Early November is of the most solid and well-rounded bands around.