by Cory Stark
I have a rule when it comes to writing reviews. I force myself to listen to whatever album I’m judging at least three times. Usually, I end up listening to said record around eight times anyway. I also try to take a quick listen to the artist’s older stuff to gain context. However, both aspects of my personal code of criticism were put to the test this time around.
For Posterity is Dryjacket’s first full-length album, and their only other work is the 2015 five-song EP Lights, Locks, & Faucets. I didn’t spend a lot of time with the EP, and I didn’t need to. It sounds a lot like For Posterity. Now, this isn’t really a problem; I would expect a band’s first EP to sound like their first album. But it meant that I was unable to compare Dryjacket to themselves, something I like doing in reviews. Being a musician, I feel like success is somewhat based on whether you’re able to top whatever you did last. Also, (confession time) it makes it easier for me to be nice and give albums decent reviews.
In regards to listening to the entire album, For Posterity is not easy to get through in one sitting. The instrumentals and lyrical rhythms are quite complex for an indie rock outfit signed to Hopeless Records. I attribute this to Dryjacket’s math rock-influenced sound and their propensity to split up words and phrases in ways that sometimes appear awkward. I appreciate the record’s complexity (they’re not chained to a standard indie sound), but it muddles the flow of the album and makes it somewhat exhausting to listen to for 33 minutes. The watered-down math rock elements in For Posterity make it interesting and easier for the casual listener to experience irregular rhythms, but it also gives the record a density that it might be better off without.
Overall though, Dryjacket isn’t bad, and For Posterity is pretty good. After eight listens, the album grew on me, and there are a few tracks that I really enjoy. If you just want a small taste, give “Spelling Era” a listen. The hook and response lyrics, “Eyes open/Knees weak,” get me nodding my head every time.
For Posterity is a good first work, and I’ll certainly be interested to see what Dryjacket cooks up next. Most of my friends are basically slaves to Hopeless Records anyway, so I’m sure I’ll get an earful about it. But until that day comes, I’ll keep encouraging people to give For Posterity a listen. In an era where the most attention is given to the flashiest and most-advertised records, this little indie album deserves some.
FCC: 1, 10
RIYL: Tiny Moving Parts, Microwave
Favorite Tracks: 1, 3, 4, 7