Brisbane’s four piece Forever the Optimist have been crafting their debut album Arecibo for almost 2 years now. While this is quite sometime to make a record, the band hasn’t exactly been off the radar during this time. The accumulated experiences of touring the East Coast of Australia extensively and supporting artists like Sydonia, Helm and Floating Me, has clearly helped shape the progressive final product.
The 11 track LP opens with the ambient anticipating title track Arecibo. The track strings you along and creates a foundation for the explosive second track (and second album single) ‘Warning Horns’.
Warning Horns is one of the stronger tracks on the album and showcases the band’s high energy, musical chops, progressive riffs and powerful soaring vocals lines. (This song is also a massive stand out when you get to see the band live).
Keeping the energy levels high, the album moves onto ‘Devils Advocate’ and ‘Enter Circus’. Devils Advocate captures some of the band’s angst, aggression and a chorus that is likely to get stuck in your head.
Enter Circus is the very first track released from the album and still one of the strongest. You can’t help but groove your head along to this track while resisting the temptation to bust out into air drums.
If you’re a Dead Letter Circus or Karnivool fan you will love ‘End of Antics‘. The layered verse captures you instantly and the song takes you on a journey. Although there is no hooky chorus melody as such, the layers of delayed guitar parts and punchy rhythm create a moving soundscape, which all help make End of Antics an album stand out and a pretty powerful song. Like ‘Chiral Part 1‘ and ‘Chiral Part 2‘, this track needs to be heard under a good set of headphones in a relaxed place to take it all in.
The second last track Revolutions, was released as a single in the later part of 2013. The song shows a little more diversity from the band – following a slightly different structure and peaking with a pretty epic bridge outro.
I Set Signals is a perfect pick for an album epilogue. The track progresses through a haunting guitar melody slowly building to an emotional payoff. A song which could sound great as a live show finisher.
Overall the band pulled some great sounds, captured solid performances and showcased some experimental song writing (while still keeping most of the songs memorable). This is an impressive debut LP and if you dig Dead Letter Circus, Karnivool or Prog-Rock in general, you must give Forever the Optimist a listen!
Arecibo is out Friday April 18 (Available on iTunes and in all good record stores)
Check out the film clip for Revolutions below:
Best track(s): Warning Horns, Enter Circus & End of Antics.
Apparent Genre(s): Progressive Rock, Alternative.
Forever the Optimist is:
Jamie Page – Vocals/Bass
Andrew Knox – Drums
Kellie Buckman – Guitars
Daniel Page – Guitars