An Ache for the Distance


Band: The Atlas Moth
Album: An Ache for the Distance
Best song: “Perpetual Generations” is a great, great song.
Worst song: “Horse Thieves” is the weakest song on a very strong record.

Technology’s affect on music fandom is something about which I’ve written a bit, mostly from the industry side. But, nevertheless, the march of the MP3/computer has made physical media (and radio. And the record store.) largely obsolete and made the fan experience widly different than when I was being molded into the music fan I am today.

I’ve touched on this before, but I really miss the notion of diving into a record’s liner notes. When I was really small, it meant folding out that accordion sheet of paper that came with cassettes, which later turned into the CD booklet inlays (and, at different times, pouring over the LP case and LP inserts).

This comes up because I was recommended the Atlas Moth through Last.fm and decided to check them out. I love An Ache for the Distance; it’s a wonderful record that does, indeed, utilize two different vocal styles (the metal scream/growl and a lower key more crooning vocalization). The record, musically, is not necessarily standard metal, with some interesting hooks — “Perpetual Generations” is one of the catchiest metal records you’ll hear and the title track moves around styles easily and wonderfully — and a smoothness that experiments while staying familiar. “Coffin Vanish” opens the record wonderfully, in an epic nature that sounds a muted classic metal band (Priest on acid, perhaps). “Courage” takes the anticipatory nature of Isis and slows it down, which works oddly well.

There’s something valuable in getting into a record without regard for the noise around the record (band members, the liners, music videos, etc.). I was able to get into An Ache for the Distance without knowing that the band came from Chicago, for example. Which is what it made it even cooler to find out that they are from Chicago and what made me to check out the band’s entries on Wikipedia Encyclopaedia Metallum. The latter made me realize that I recognized one of the band member’s names.

Needless to sat, I was pretty hyped to find that a high school friend’s brother is one of the guitarists/vocalists in the Atlas Moth. I’m a bit of a starfucker (or at least, I like to be close to greatness) and needed to confirm with said friend if David Kush is still her brother.

I don’t know the extent to which Kush has influence on the band; I don’t know if he writes the songs or simply just sings and plays guitar. Either way, An Ache for the Distance is a wonderful record.

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