I've been told I think about the past too much. I admit, it's hard for me to cope with the present when the past seems so much better and easier, but there's more to it than that. There's comfort in the familiarity of the past, and the unknown of the future is laced with too much uncertainty. With Illustrations album, In Vain, I found myself transported back to a time when hardcore music was as simple as my life was.
Illustrations play an old school style of hardcore here, which is where this whole nostalgic blabber came from in the first place. It's so free and easy, uncomplicated in it's desire to rock your face that it also feels refreshing because of it. "Never Feeling", which has the occasional grindcore drum riff, trudges along with a great energy that will make you want to mosh at your desk at work (I recommend you consult your co-workers before doing windmills and the like there). "Always Losing" and "In Shambles" sound a little more hardcore-punk than straight up hardcore, which is always nice since I like the occasional circle pit instead of the head hunting kinds.
"Take My Body Away" and "Endless Sleep" are more Illustrations bread and butter it seems, displaying great craft in their hardcore song making. They never feel boring, or similar, and for a genre like hardcore when things can go from good to bad in a nano-second, that's ridiculously impressive. Even a song like "Die Young", which scared me in the beginning because of the emo sounding guitar riff, saves itself by it's inability to flounder even when things start of iffy. The song stays strong despite the tiny blip, and that's a testament to how amazing an act like Illustrations are.
I wish I had written a longer review of this album, but I don't think I really needed to. It would have been a constant barrage of 'Oooohs' and 'Ahhhhs' by me, and that can be annoying when all a reviewer does is gush about how much they love a band, instead of focusing on what's really important. In Vain by Illustrations might be my favorite thing I've reviewed on my blog so far, and that's because of how amazing the band is, not the nostalgic feeling they gave me. - Shane
Check out the album here! - http://illustrations.bandcamp.com/album/in-vain