The End Is Not The End

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The End Is Not The End

Post by foxrock66(Roadkill) on Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:27 am

Ever wondered what it would sound like if pop-rockers Relient K ever met up with The Beatles and the two groups recorded an album together? Maybe not, but if you’re one of the few people who have had such a fantasy, rejoice! The album of your dreams has arrived, even if it has done so in a somewhat different package than you perhaps anticipated. The album I refer to, of course, is the third recording from Gotee Records rock group, House of Heroes. After many delays, “The End Is Not The End” is here. The album is one of the best you can find. Thematically, the disc is loosely inspired by the Second World War. But it’s also an album full of love songs.

“The End…” begins with a classical styled “Intro”, before easing into the major chord laden “If” a musically unique track, like much of the album, and most certainly one of the best songs on the disc. Lyrically, the track is poetic, if not exceptionally deep. A love song in its simplest form, lyrics range form “I could be in love/ if you wore that dress everyday/ with your hair just so and your eyes of gray” to much more cryptic lines like “Give us this moment to shine/ me and my bride of Frankenstein/ a beautiful bird on a line/ If you were mine, if you were mine, if you were mine”

Following is the high energy “Lose Control” sounding much more like a generic alt. rock song than “If” but remaining exceptionally unique and pleasing. What the song is actually about is a bit of a mystery. The lyrics are poetic, and extremely cryptic. Lines like “I cast no shadow on the grave/ no one knows my name/ I ride the whim of seven seas/ gone before the rain/ I am both friend and enemy/ an object of disdain/ livin’ it up in the down and out/ I run with the foxes and hunt with the hounds” are cool, and very well written, but a bit hard to understand. Musically the track is one of the more aggressive on the disc, and also one of the best.

“Leave You Now” – my personal favorite – is next. A song about devotion in some ways, the chorus sings “Yeah/ I can’t leave you now/ I got nowhere to go anyhow/ ten long years I spent in the sun/ where I broke my back to avoid the gun/ but I never cracked and never gave you up/ I just did my time for you” with the bridge saying “They can call me public enemy/ brand my skin for treachery/ what they long to have they can’t take away/ from me/ my hope is growing by the power of love/ the highest wall that they erect is not a prison enough/ and like a river that is wide and takes its water to sea/ the only ending that is fitting is you and me baby” before breaking into an awesome, though much too short guitar solo. This track, as mentioned is my favorite on the disc. The wonderfully penned lyrics, entirely unique instrumentation, and ear candy vocals tie together beautifully.

Next is “Dangerous” a simple, but thoroughly enjoyable track, closing with the lyric “Nothing to be lost or won/ take me home again”

“Valley of the Dying Sun” follows. Probably the most spiritually deep track on the record, it is a parallel of Jacob’s wrestling match with God. Most obvious with the lyric ”All through the night/ I wrestled the angel/ to undo the curse/ that’s burdened me all of my life” The musical side of this track is pure and total greatness, with the feel of the track shifting as the opposing sides battle it out. Epic, to say the least, even if it is a bit strange that this long ordeal is so well absorbed in the space of four and a half minutes.

Next is “Code Name: Raven”. The story of a French Spy in WW2, and the lengths he will go to in order to preserve his homeland. Lines such as “You can’t choose the course of fates sealed long ago/ but hope is not lost/ code name corveau! / we trade their secrets at cost for our lives/ the panzer is strong/ the raven is wise” detail his struggle - and those of his comrades - well. Musically… well, as with nearly every track on this record, “Raven” is sickly unique, and immensely pleasing and well performed.

Next comes one of the few acoustic tracks on the album, “By Your Side”. A story of two brothers that are drafted, and their devotion and comraderie through thick, thin, and even death says the lyric “I’ll be by your side/ on the other side/ and through the cloud of death/ we find our way back home/ though I hold your hand/ all must go alone/ And when you see the face of your Maker/ you don’t have to be ashamed/ He knows the promises we made/ I’ll be by your side/ on the other side”

Three tracks later we are reminded by “Baby’s A Red” that not only are we to love our family, but also our enemies “Baby’s a Red!/ the feds said lock her in lead, she’s Red/ but, I love her”

Following “Red” are “Drown”, “Faces” and “Voices”. Good tracks in their own right, but they don’t quite measure up to the rest of the album, with “Drown” sounding very punk rock in places.

Now comes the finale. Two acoustic tracks. “New Moon”, a track of hope and healing, sounding much like a song that could have been on Jars Of Clay’s release “Much Afraid”

Then creeps in “Ghost”. A touching, somewhat tragic tale of a man who made some poor decisions, and his regrets over them.

I did skip over a couple of tracks, but not because they are poor, or inferior to the rest of the album, simply because an album like “The End” is a very difficult one to review. Pages and pages could be written about the intricacies of the lyrics and the nuances of the music. So unique is the album. It explores the pros, the cons, the left, the right, the middle man and quite a bit else. Such an album is a rare pleasure to find, and is truly better experienced than relayed through a review.

To put it plainly, this album would be worth the purchase were it thirty dollars, its quality is superb. Uniqueness, immense. It is an amazing release from a relatively unknown group, surpassing most if not all mainstream releases in the genre. Alternative pop/rock at its best, entirely unique, and yet extremely accessible, “The End Is Not The End” is simply one of the best albums you can find today. Longtime fans of the band will be ecstatic, new comers will be hooked, and even naysayers will have cause to turn their heads. Do not miss out on this release if you can help it, it’s that good

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Re: The End Is Not The End

Post by frang on Sat Mar 19, 2011 1:13 pm

I love the lyrics. Wow. Way back when I was a kid, a strange movie came out. "All This and World War Two." On the surface it is a relatively harmless movie, as documentary movies about war go, with one exception. There was no narration. The entire soundtrack to the movie consisted of covers of Beatles songs. It was a wonderfully strange subversive experience to see documentary and movie footage of WW2 musically illustrated by Beatles songs. So your assertion of the unity of Relient K and the Beatles makes sense to me.

Oh, I ain't kidding.....here's the Wikipedia article and.....[Deadly shock applied in five seconds], it's on youtube!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_This_and_World_War_II

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOTLwzyKZpg



I couldn't find any of the songs you mentioned on youtube, I looked most diligently for "Leave You Now," but there's a lot of other Relient K up. Here's one.




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