Clay: Back when we covered Ages And Ages’ debut Alright You Restless, I was left with the impression that the band was onto something big, but felt they were defined by their influenced and hoped that future releases would allow the band to find a more original sound.
With Ages’ sophomore release Divisionary, I got what I asked for. The Portland septet kept their bright, sole-stomping vibe and lush harmonies, but evolved into their own sound. The route that the band took to get there, monumental loss, lineup changes, growing families, would probably have broken anyone else. But they took all of that and turned it into a new album that I feel like is a glowing beacon of optimism.
Greg: While optimism is a word that certainly goes hand-in-hand with this Rose City group, I struggle with the hope that the band may find a more original sound.
Ages and Ages flourish in an abundance of originality. Sure there is always an association that can be made to some degree with virtually any sound; all music is a product of their influence. But for Ages, specifically Divisionary, I find myself drawn to the natural passion that pours through the veins of their recording style. The light, drifting folk fused ambiance of the record makes me smile for the familiarity of what we experienced in Alright You Restless but ultimately has me dancing to the refreshing style of eleven more tracks.
Clay: There is a lot to dance to: the album does not hesitate with “Light Goes Out,” complete with its aggressive yet steady beat before settling into a muted folk ditty. “I See More” brings electric guitar sound to a dance-hall feel, and “Big Idea” grows and grows and grows and grows before an abrupt end.
The growth shows up in the middle of the album with the soulful “Our Demons” and “Ante Up” and the gospel feel of the closing title track “Divisionary (Do the Right Thing)”. The whole thing is rough with raw emotion, but is such a more complete album than its predecessor. It is hard to find a flaw with this release. Instead of finding flaws, I just hope with all of their individual and group struggles that they keep going.
Greg: Would it be wrong of me to simply say “What he just said”?
There is one major item that needs to be mentioned, Ages and Ages doesn’t just make a complete album that is, indeed, extremely difficult to find a flaw therein, the band does an exceptional job at making the album flow and each song fit snugly against the next. Divisionary is more than just eleven new songs, it is a whole new experience in the vein of what we came to love with their previous work.
Divisionary is out now on Partisan Records, grab it here.
Greg and Clay are the founders of Nanobot and have worked on this site longer than they did at the startup where they first met and started epic ping pong matches.