Ever since it’s original inception, the genre of emo and it’s related countless subgenres have typically served as a vessel for catharsis. It’s a genre that has adapted and evolved with the ceaseless passage of time, but regardless of how the stylistics are altered, it’s core crux of being a means of providing emotional purgation for both the creative and individual has remained the same. Demonstrating this eloquently is the debut full length from the Bristol based newcomers Our Nameless Boy, an effort that chronicles the life-threatening battle against cancer that vocalist Ian Gorrie endured several years ago.
As one can imagine, the record – titled Colour From The Doves – is certainly a far, screaming cry from the stereotypical perceptions that some may have the genre. Instead of melodramatically lamenting the loss of love that is prominent within records of this musical nature, Colour From The Doves is a fraught with a palatable sense of isolation, imprinted fear and an awakened sense of mortality. However, whilst it may be easy to presume that the subject’s chronicled are articulated with bombastic assaults of agitated turbulence, this album is a far more tentative, collected and delicate affair. Channeling the group’s evident collective influences of The Early November, Manchester Orchestra and Dashboard Confessional, Our Nameless Boy detail and narrate the themes and events that led to the creation of this record with control, earnest dignity and passion.
The record’s steadfast composure is evident from the very first few minutes. Opening with a ghastly and pained drawl, one that immediately hints towards the traumatising journey Gorrie has undertaken, opener ‘I’ll Drink To That’ granulates into the rustic and pained ‘Heel’ with a sense of balance that bristles with apprehension and withhold energy. Whilst the album is delicately composed and presented gracefully, there’s a feeling of agitation hiding beneath. It’s this prominent sense and contrast of unease and stability that animates the record.
As showcased on single ‘Less On The Mill’ and ‘Spin’, a track that feels in danger of spiralling into chaos whilst showcasing their love for the aforementioned Manchester Orchestra, Our Nameless Boy slowly decant their sense of urgency into the running time of Colour From The Doves. The record bristles, shivers and almost secretly seethes with a sense of urgency in it’s quest to obtain peace, but never once dips into dissonance during it’s duration. In regards to this, it’s difficult to disengage from this record once tapped into it’s respective sense of desire to achieve serenity and to expel trauma.
Bar from it’s respective composure, one of the key elements of Colours From The Doves is it’s profound sense of cold comfort. It’s a record that lies and sways with a sentiment of peace that only comes following the end of a great ordeal and life alerting trauma. Of course, this is not surprising given it’s subject matter. In a mildly distorted fashion that’s reminiscent of Black Foxxes, ‘Better Than None’ stands as one the record’s most forward and confrontational tracks, yet basks in a glow of pained comfort, one that’s more so relaxation after the end of prolonged discomfort. The more gentle nature of the proceeding ‘Come Back To Me’ further adds to this, with it’s ornate, borderline shimmering leads resonating aqueous restfulness against the backing and distant bellows of Ian Gorrie.
In all, this record’s singular, focused pace may be a determent for those looking for more bombastic and chaotic endeavours in line with genre stereotypes. But yet, Colour From The Doves' subtle contrast between it’s steadfast composed facade and it’s frantic, borderline stress beneath the surface is an enthralling experience for anyone with a pendant for authentic and experienced modern emo. Animated by a fantastic vocal performance form Gorrie, this album is a product of cold comfort that should pacify and agitate in equal measures and serves as a great initial product from an act with a clearly bright future ahead of them.