On the newest release from Fort Wayne’s March On, Comrade, the post-rock/progressive pop band continue to move their sound from glacial swaths of gorgeous white noise to something more pop-centric. The Architect of Such Brilliant Lines has the makings of a breakthrough record. The vocals of bassist/singer Zach Smith sit front and center, emphasizing not just the instrumental passages the band have been known for but that these are pop songs at their core. Very much progressive in scope, but still pop at their heart.
March On, Comrade have always gone for grand musical statements. From the beginning they locked into the “big sky” pondering of bands like Explosions in The Sky, This Will Destroy You, as well as the dream pop of Auburn Lull and The Appleseed Cast. They even went so far as to release a record with a 12-piece chamber orchestra called Sums and Differences back in 2017. March On, Comrade are a go big or go home kind of sonic wunderkind. They haven’t lost any of those grand tendencies on The Architect of Such Brilliant Lines, they’ve just honed in those grand designs for pop music sensibility.
The opening salvo “Wake” is a hazy 2 minute instrumental. It welcomes us into the album with glacial walls of ambient noise that walk us right into “Credulous”. Synths, guitar, and bombastic drums make some noise as newest member Zach Smith makes his album debut with the band. Smith’s light and airy vocals make a great pairing with the band’s ethereal tendencies. This is a heavier side to March On, Comrade, and one that fits them well. “Shame” is another track that carries with it some sonic weight. It has a bit of a dirge-y feel; slow moving, methodical, and with emotional intent.
The band even made a striking video for closing track “Webs”, a piano-driven song that falls into Antlers territory. March On, Comrade have a knack for layering subtle sonic touches over what other bands might think is a finished track. The results are an emotionally heavy song being elevated to new heights. That’s “Webs”.
March On, Comrade seem right at home on The Architect of Such Brilliant Lines. Each album up to this point has been a search for their sonic home, and I believe they’ve finally found it.
7.9 out of 10
‘The Architect of Such Brilliant Lines’ is available now. Buy it here.