Review: acab rocky - "truce"

acab rocky - truce
(Hacktivism 2015)

It's been nearly a year since I reviewed acab rocky's debut album, sara, yet the project has already gone through such a dramatic shift in tone and timbre that it feels as if I'm reviewing a completely different band. While the trio's early material was dark, brooding, and lo-fi, acab's new output is a crystalline cross between midwestern emo and Green Mind-era Dinosaur Jr, woven from gossamer threads of bendy lead guitar. The album's opening cut, "Matches" lays down a base of reverby chords and twangy flecks of acoustic guitar before lunging headfirst into its first verse. The lyrics are nearly whispered in front of a backdrop of fuzzy ambience: gravelly, yet still gentle enough not to conceal the vocals. Later, an American Football-esque riff cuts through the atmosphere, sending the track back in time into the late 90s with its post-rock tone. Both "Nursery" and "Jane" each remind me of the soundtrack to Welcome To the NHK; each is minimal, relaxing and filled with a rich feeling of nostalgia. The latter even incorporates some Slowdive-ian shoegazery. It's always interesting to see lower-fi bands transition to a studio environment; acab rocky does so the right way on true.