In 2011, South Carolina’s All Get Out dropped one of the most under-appreciated and quite frankly brilliant indie rock albums of recent years. With a sound echoing but not aping their label mates in Manchester Orchestra, The Season is a record which is as aggressive and hard-hitting as it is emotionally resonate. After an intensive touring period, the band took a hiatus. This was the perfect time for frontman and songwriter Nathan Hussey to branch off and focus on his intelligent, cutting lyricism, the proof of which is evident in the haunting, intimate solo album Ground Me released in 2013. Now, they’re recharged, and present us with their latest offering in Movement, a brisk romp, a sweet little reminder of what a special band All Get Out is.
The EP starts off in typical All Get Out fashion with ‘Sans’; quick, intricate verses backed by concise, focused drumming before evolving into soaring choruses and culminating in a fierce minute long breakdown. If there ever was a song that says “We’re back”, it’s this one. Next is ‘Orchestra’, with the shouted vocal hook of the chorus eerily reminiscent of Brand New’s ‘Bought A Bride’ and although probably the weakest of all the tracks here, ‘Orchestra’ showcases the range of Nathan Hussey’s voice and proves he’s as comfortable screaming his words as he is softly singing them. ‘Balance’ is a track which is heavily reminiscent of Manchester Orchestra, and I think that comparison is one which has possibly hindered the band in finding their own feet and identity. These comparisons are always going to rear their heads given the bands proximity to Manchester Orchestra, but there’s no harm in being compared to one of the biggest and best bands in indie rock. Hussey’s voice splinters and fragments at just the right times here, adding an extra dimension of emotional resonance to the thumping percussion and sweeping, soaring guitars. Every time I come back to AGO after a long time having not listened to them, I’m instantly reminded of what a talent Nathan Hussey, his vulnerability, lyricism and vocal nuance forever pushing him to the top of my imaginary ‘Favourite Frontmen’ list. The self-titled track goes further to prove this, proving Hussey is just as good performing catchy, chorus driven indie songs as he is performing heavier, rock infused hard-hitters.
The record culminates in ‘All My Friends Are Dead’, in which Hussey softly muses “I’ve got time to kill. All my work is done.” For all our sakes, I hope his and AGO’s work isn’t done, because in Movement they’ve put together group of songs which bring with them promise for the future, all the while whilst ruminating on troubles past. We never really grow out of the ‘coming-of-age’ stage of our lives, we’re always evolving and meandering through life, and Movement is a testament and a celebration of that.