All Get Out – Movement EP Review

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.


Dark Souls

With the release of Dark Souls III imminent, I thought it would only be right to put to virtual paper my feelings on the series. Five years ago, when I was a stupid 18 year old boy, I played Dark Souls for the first time. After dying an inordinate amount of times I decided that I hated it and swore to myself I’d never play it again. It took last year’s Bloodborne to pull me back in, the gothic scenery and Lovecraftian influences capturing my attention and holding it for 100 hours until I was in possession of the platinum trophy, having done everything there is to do in the game. My Dark Souls loving friends urged me whole-heartedly to give the game another shot. I thought it would only be fair to give Dark Souls another try, for I had matured as a gamer, a consumer, and most importantly, as a man.

So here I am in 2016 whole heartedly declaring that the Dark Souls series are amongst my favourite games of all time. I am a true believer. Praise the sun! I’m currently playing through Dark Souls II for the first time, and I’m finding myself dreaming about slaying skeletons and fighting demonic beasts, waking up in the morning itching to play. Bloodborne is a great entry point into the series, introducing you to the core concepts and tropes of these games in a refined and streamlined fashion, stripping away the added confusion that may arise if you’re jumping into Dark Souls for the first time. These games are magnificent creations in so many ways. The combat is exciting, brutal and hugely rewarding. The level design is clever, intricate and unique. The story is there for you to find and piece together if you look hard enough, the lore deep and interesting and tied to every item that you find in the game. Exploration is actively encouraged and rewarded in a way which games just don’t do in this time where streamlined, linear adventures are commonplace. All of these things, and more, add up to form the perfect package. I was a fool to be afraid and against it for so long, as seeing it and experiencing it for myself has cemented why I love video games so much. No other medium could enthral me the way in which this does, and it’s something very special indeed.