Former Archers Of Loaf/Crooked Fingers mastermind Eric Bachmann drops the third LP under his given name. No Recover isn’t a title that screams positivity, and despite the many gentle acoustic treatments and ringing vocal harmonies that crop up here the overall feeling of the album is bittersweet. It’s not exactly a sad record, but there’s certainly a lacing of melancholia to the tracks here. Imagine Fleet Foxes if they’d been through the ringer a few times.
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I’m in awe. Eric Bachmann’s ‘No Recover’ has shocked me for its beauty and for its heart. I’ve only ever been familiar with Bachmann’s work with the wonderful Archers of Loaf but beauty was never the concern there. It shouldn’t surprise me, when someone has been working in music as long as Bachmann has they tend to try on a few different hats. But even if I was expecting it, I would never have expected the degree to which these songs have resonated with me.
‘No Recover’ is not a 90s indie rock album, how could it be. It features, for its vast majority, just Bachmann quickly picking at his acoustic guitar while his voice, once used to devastating effect on Archers of Loaf’s many chants, is gentle and warm and welcoming. There’s the occasional harmonising, or piano, or drum machine, but they all serve to supplement the work Bachmann’s putting in.
The album opens with ‘Jaded Lover, Shady Drifter’, a muted drum beat introduces to the pace and texture of the album before Bachmann joins singing and guitar. The song slowly builds and builds, a bit of electronic textures, and most powerfully, Bachmann straining against the top of his range. Though this album may not be the gut punch of his earlier output, this isn’t easier, no less effortful.
This is the kind of ‘mature’ feeling album you want from an ageing indie rockstar. It’s just as sincere but less chaotic.
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