Under Review

a0875830379_16

Chris

I Don’t Think Anything

Art of the Uncarved Block; 17/09/2017

author
Clara Dubber

I Don’t Think Anything is the debut EP from Chris, a Toronto post-rock unit. The band members all have history in the post-hardcore scene, but explore a different emotional connection with gentler, less visceral intensity. This project has manifested in a really deliberate sound from the Toronto rock scene and positions Chris as a clear, communicative and intuitive voice.

The band stays within familiar rock parameters with a classic two guitarist, bassist, and drummer setup, and subdued-to-peak arrangements. Within these parameters, Chris showcases outstanding expressiveness on I Don’t Think Anything. Each track not only evokes emotion, but also seems like a capsule of a feeling, conveyed through the song structure — whether disillusionment, resignation or melancholy. The second track “Down There” captures exhaustion, as its plodding drums are punctuated by manic and energized riffs that burn out in subsequent fatigue.

The lyrics are emotive, but not necessarily revelatory. When they sing “But someone’s always spoiling it” on top of a major-minor change in “Under the Weight,” the album’s first single, the lyrics specify the context of the emotion instead of doing all of the communicative work.

I Don’t Think Anything has a clear emotional arc that gives cohesive momentum to the EP. While each track is distinct, some tend to blend together only to be jostled out of monotony. This jostling also lends to each song being charged and staggered with a kind of stilted cyclicity. The intentional spurting and stalling is what makes the emotionality of the EP so compelling: the song structure parallels both the work of processing heavy emotions and the emotions themselves.

I Don’t Think Anything is a gorgeous project of expressive instrumentalism. Chris’ songwriting strength and clarity comes forward on this evocative debut EP.