Hailing from Victoria, British Columbia, Acab Rocky is the work of Sam Wells, Oliver Hollingshead and Glen Hollingshead. Sara was released all the way back in February, but I’ve only just stumbled upon it and thankfully I have. The hollowed, echoes of seasoned folk, guitar tones when mixed with the bite of heavier, emo/punk elements, elevates the album from somewhat intriguing, to a devilish snare, luring even the strongest willed into a deadly trap, of intoxicating tales of lust, fear and emotional pain at it’s finest.
Once fully absorbed and annihilated by Sara, it’s almost difficult to find a difference between the folk and the emo/punk styles in every song. The merging of the two genres sounds, technically a bliss; as loud, abrasive riffs balance out with well placed folk tinkering, as well as the occasional classical, arrangement of the cello. On opener Sara pt.1, gentle vocals announce the album’s hidden pain of a past love, with eerie, muffled effects draining any ounce of natural light imaginable, from the image of a dark, cold winter, in the middle of a desolate forest, feeling more like a terrifying horror story, than a lost love tale.
Although the album’s most enticing part occurs with the balance of Mother and Father. The elegantly revered Mother, being the softer side to the more intrusive style of following track Father. Apart from being much shorter than Father (Mother at 2:11, Father at 3:24), the differences on Mother, are largely traditional to their semantic relations, with a mother being the caring, gentle, softer half of the parents, as slowed down guitar riffs, mingle in an empty environment. However, the combination with brooding basses and dark themed lyrics, entrap the stereotypical perception of the female role as the song is left to fade out, before the screeches of Father begin to focus in.
The style of Father also tackles, but yet matches common perceptions of semantic relations, as the helpless child seeks, protection and safety towards her father, although the lack of recognition of the child’s true fears, appears frighteningly realistic and familiar, with aggressive, doom filled choruses of malevolent lyrics, drawing in the darker relations to the essence of Father in its entirety.
Can it kill me? Well can you tell me?
The continuation of deeply upsetting lyrics with “I heard her screams, but I did not help”, adds to the already terrifying perception of what real fathers can really be like. Although that may be a largely over thought conception of my own.
As a piece of music, Sara neither attacks nor defends either of it’s two genres. It simply pieces the two together boldly, for a new taste, which succeeds magnificently. The true hero of Sara comes from the lyrics, showing the darkest corners of life, and their darkest set emotions. The combination of the two together, creates a piece of music, that challenges common misconceptions of both generic conventions and real life instances. As short as Sara may be; it’s a truly amazing story that is bizarrely well developed for a trio of three, young lads.