Mixing equal parts ambience and melody, Cincinnati-based All the Day Holiday have created a doozy of a debut album in The Things We’ve Grown to Love. Balance the sometimes noodling guitar work with smooth vocal lines and impressive drumming, and what results is a huge sounding album that flows well regardless of tempo. This disc of mid-tempo indie-rock is sure to please, bolstering impressive songwriting and a knack for packing in the melodies.
Occasionally channeling Geoff Rickley vocals-wise, the vocal driven opener “Autumn” is an excellent indication of what to expect with this album. Lush melodies weave in and out of the vocal lines, all while the drums spice things up with fill-driven timekeeping. “Real Time” picks up the tempo and keeps the ambience for a sound beckoning the melody to Thrice’s “The Sky is Falling”. Still, it works despite feeling eerily familiar in parts. The up-tempo stuff isn’t their strongest work though, as tracks like this one show. Another small mishap is in the title track, when the vocals swap from flowing to very cut up and choppy. Besides not allowing the vocals to sound as good as they normally do, they just make the lyrics sound awkward and forced.
With slower tempo tracks like “Greener” and “Flowers and Fireworks”, AtDH are better suited for showcasing their vibrant guitar work and vocals, with the latter relying on repetition until the track resolves for a huge chorus. Even the drum and voice driven “Cheers” benefits from the mellower tempo, showing simplistic, yet effective songwriting at its best. When AtDH sticks to the slower stuff, they can even get a nice groove going (beginning of “Mountains”) without sacrificing the melodic songwriting the band excels at. The disc ends with the acoustic track “Invisible”, a shining, heartfelt track underlined with simple melodies that allow the vocals to take the spotlight in a fitting finale.
Carefully concocted, The Things We’ve Grown to Love is a great debut from what looks to be a band full of promise. Despite a couple slip-ups, this is surely one of the better indie rock records to pass through my speakers in some time. [By: Jason Gardner]
Release Date: August 4, 2009