In the music realm true second shots at success are few and far between. Especially when your previous project (LostProphets) disbanded because of unspeakable crimes committed by the former lead vocalist, the vile Ian Watkins. Perhaps a few twists here, a few turns there……maybe the stars aligning will get you back on track? A star these Welsh lads did find in Watkins replacement with Thursday’s vocalist Geoff Rickly. With his addition also came the support of his label, Collect Records, raw talent, and a new beginning, which, is the essence of Permanence.
For fans of the post hardcore, emo scene that emerged in the late nineties-early 2000’s Rickly needs no introduction. Thursday is most accurately credited with blazing the trail. In a world where everybody tries to emulate Robert Smith of the Cure, Rickly has always done it proper. Nothing has changed about that in No Devotion. There are even hints of Thursday’s influence: deep drums, similar guitar effects, airy keys, intellectual changes. What you won’t find is any of Lostprophets generic brand of teenie-bopper alt-metal that infested the same time period (think Trapt, Hoobastank).
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Instead you’ll find a well-blended concoction of modern new wave and emotional hard core taking full advantage of Ricklys reminiscent vocals. “There ain’t nothing I can do to make you stay” he wails in “Stay”, channeling a pubescent broken heart that even through the hardening of the years, still lingers deep within us. Adding contrast, No Devotion is a showcase evident in solid opening track “Break”, an M83ish number where he deviates from his whiny comfort zone and lets loose his inner Ian Curtis (Joy Division), nearly unrecognizable as Rickly upon first listen. Same in “10,000 summers”, in the vein of The National, until the chorus where he once again hits the high register. And then there is “Personal Sunlight”, a stand-out, cruise worthy sing along done worlds better than most of the contemporary goes at these types of electronic based free spirited efforts.
An album produced and arranged as excellent as the music written in it, the rest of the record is peppered with darker more industrial tracks that usually have a bright spot peak in here and there “Why Can’t I Be With You” and unusual chord progressions “ I Want to be Your God” normally avoided by the faint of heart; Mastered by No Devotion. For the daring, Permanence, through dark and light, hope prevails.