Isolation is the central theme here, from the band’s name to the sound found on Fear Is On Our Side; it seeps through the casket cracks like rain water. A remote gasping vocal delivery of lines like “Reaching/For the end/Never make a sound.” place you squarely back in 1986 at a Cure/Depeche Mode double bill, while the music behind those lines manages to raise the stakes.
ILYBICD create waves that filter in at various stages, like a score to the Overlook Hotel from The Shining on a spring night, spooky and epic but without all that icky blood. Distant drums are slapped coldly and when the percussion seems likely to break into a gallop it simply retreats into the shadows. On the bump in the night “According to Plan,” the bass thumps through the shrubbery but the synth’s keep the tune from disrupting the straight laced guests.
Over the course of the album lonely guitars add a ghostly mist to the grand creepiness, yet there is relief and joy to be found. The band is content with their choice of darkness, and songs like “We Choose Faces,” “Lets Ride Together” and “Lights” even contain jubilant builds and releases reminiscent of “In God’s Country” U2. A few sketches like “Long Walk” miss check out time and overstay their welcome, however “The Ghost” opener and the propulsive eastern tinged closing “If It Was Me” more then make the sleepover worth it; lost loves, loneliness, fears and all.
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