Admirably whimsical, yet retaining a tarnished juxtaposition. Bella Union have scored one of the most, essential albums of the year, again.
Thanks to The Trouble With Templeton obviously.
It truly is a joy when an album brings a smile to your face because of some amusing intro, and can then erase that image of happiness from your memory within seconds. It’s a bizarre story, Rookie. It’s grand indie-giant style, similar to Twenty One Pilots, is charmingly abrasive of itself, which isn’t a combination of two words you would necessarily think to combine together, but Rookie creates a new rule for objectifying a piece, only to itself. The use of atmospheric, folk instrumentation similar to Bon Iver, as well as several, variating styles of both vocal and guitar presentations, are hauntingly, desirable and nostalgically, picturesque, just as MONEY and Daughter created on their debut LPs, with smooth, tangible presentations.
Whimpering Child is the horizon of Rookie even as the opener. Shifts between folk styling and then post-indie mixing creates enthusiastic, moving rhythms that ripple on a continuous groove, like a scratch on a vinyl record, although less infuriating, and even more heart breaking when fused together with Rookie’s malevolent lyrics. The emotional torment appears harmless when blanketed by Thomas Calder’s angelic vocal arrangement.
This harmless style becomes distorted, when Violent Femmes’ weirdness, of snarling vocals to introduce Like A Kid, upholds the position of Rookie being interchangeable. Alternative rock runs rampant, as tingling electronics mirror Calder’s vocals. It’s stature as a cry for help, from people who are normally the helpers seems almost ambiguous, as the electrolysed guitar hooks bury the song’s lyrics deeper than 6ft. Though the inevitable rise of the lyrics brooding nature, ready to destroy any reminiscence of joy from the misleading “ooh’s!”, or it’s post-folk take, is terrifyingly advantageous.
Six Months In A Cast, (the oldest of the bands tracks, to make it onto the album), is a tale of self-confessed iniquity, guiding their love to an uncontrollable future:
Oh I keep on deceiving you/And I’ll always play the fool/And it’s a way for you to know
Just as with Like A Kid, folk styled guitar chords misguide the songs true story brilliantly. The pleasantries of the mixture of the string section with the open guitar style misguide the song as a whole, but as an overall concept, this trickery describes the song perfectly, without actually saying anything. It’s these clever, quick thinking, music production skills, that are found all over Rookie.
The following track Climate barely musters over a minute, yet packs a punch mightier than Mike Tyson’s.
When I was 17 years old and contemplating suicide
Trying to fit into a 32 waist when it needs a 34, Climate is set to erupt from the outset of the track, before leaving nothing but ash in the air as the cheery faced destruction leaves you unable to move.
The most recent single, Soldiers, which received the amazing remixing from Snowbird, is as psychologically disruptive as the video for the single is.
Please don’t tell me, you can’t stop loving me, your voice is killing me, don’t make sense.
The continuation of self imploding thoughts from Soldiers carries the rest of Rookie, with the closing track, Lint, soothing your bruised bones with it’s acoustic charm, before exploding with a finish more attention grabbing than New Year’s fireworks.
More misguiding than an in-store, discount voucher, Rookie is the most difficult album you’ll have had to listen to this year, solely because of its lack of self-appreciation. The Trouble With Templeton have used Rookie to disguise everything in their lives they’re indisputably distraught about. It’s the album of every self-destructive teen who’s ever walked the Earth. How much can you truly hate yourself or everyone else? How much can you truly believe that you’re no good for anyone or vice versa? How could you write a collection of twelve songs discussing how catastrophic life can be, and not go completely of the bend? Rookie is a dangerous mixture of misguiding instrumentation styles to avoid the subject of its lyrics, just as Joy Division’s Closer truly showed how deeply destroyed Ian’s mind was.
It’s a complete classic that you could read 5,000,000,000 different ways. Just don’t dispute the seamlessly obvious story of the album, which is one of utter emotional destruction of the world we live in and the lives we live. Just as MONEY achieved the near impossible, of scoring an album that can consume an entire person’s life; The Trouble With Templeton have similarly conceived the plans of a masterpiece and nurtured this into something even greater. Bella Union, let’s make it three years running in 2015.