For some musical artists, the medium of music serves as a platform to display opinions, thoughts and ideals they personally assume as facts. It’s stream of consciousness documenting how they perfectly understand the world, themselves and social culture. Of course, no one perfectly understands the themselves, yet alone the world around them. One such act who know this true and well are the experimental collective itoldyouiwouldeatyou. Since their inception they’ve remained a source of catharsis within the DIY punk scene, with many heralding the group for their creativity, innovation and human emotion. Whilst their sound and creative ethos has broadened over the years, such ideology has truly blossomed with their debut Oh Dearism. Deeply layered yet coherent, Oh Dearism perfectly defines the ideology the group present and will undoubtedly serve as a source of inspiration and catharsis to many a listener.
In a return to the beginning of this review, Oh Dearism doesn’t answer the questions of life or serve as a platform for misjudged grandiose statements. In contrast, the record openly discuses the questions we all personally wish we knew the answers for. Questions on identity, love, social constructs, morality and seemingly untouchable politics that determine our fate; the record explores all these themes whilst never pinning definite answers. Of course, there are no definite answers for these questions and that’s a fact itoldyouiwouldeatyou eat you explore within this record. Such humility is blanketing and comforting. It’s okay to be unsure about yourself or your surroundings, and Oh Dearism serves as a medium to state that you’re not alone with such uncertainty.
Opening with the humble and tender ‘Earl, King, Whatever’, a tale that documents seeking comfort through chemistry-less intimacy before flowing seamlessly into the keys and withheld math rock sensibilities of ‘Gold Rush’, itoldyouiwouldeatyou take inspirations from a colossal range of genres and movements prior to bending them to their will. By utilizing a massive palate of musical cues the group navigate through the aforementioned questions without ever creating a sense of musical contrast or juxtaposition. Despite hues of math rock, indie, punk and grunge being prominent, one musical stance never overshadows the rest and tips the balance. It’s truly the mark of a band who have been moulded by creativity and experimentation, knowing how to create a sound that’s reminiscent and approachable yet borderline difficult to compare and pigeonhole.
Despite the band resonating a sense of humbleness and humility full heartedly, passion, anxiety and anger is fully evident. However, such emotions are never projected in a fashion that’s overwhelming and drastic. From the pleasant, swirling electric leads and withheld bellows of ‘Almost Zero’ to the tender and idealistic dreamscape of ‘Craiglockhart; a rich sleepy landscape shadowed by genuine frustration, the record touches upon negative, hostile themes with fragility and honest tenderness. As the sprawling saga of ‘Greek Fire’ fades into the metaphor ridden closer ‘Goodbye To All Of That’, where no closer to answering the questions we came to seek answers to, but we can take comfort in that we are not alone and such questions have been explored with technicolor vibrancy and earnest attitudes.
In all, Oh Dearism is a vibrant and living tapestry of creativity and emotional exploration. A Beautiful record that appeals to all manner of demographics and tastes, and one that suggests that Itoldyouiwouldeat you have a fruitful future ahead.
Oh Dearism is out now via Alcopop! Records x Failure By Design Records