Her Familiar delivers a wild, intense trip with their self-titled debut. A whole slew of genres enters into the fray, from hardcore to post-rock to indie rock to ambient to shoegaze, they do it all with justice. The album itself has a polished perfection to it, from the taut rhythms to the angular riffs that adorn most of the tracks. Volume is a must for when they work themselves into a frenzy it is a freewheeling sense of bliss. So, cathartic to experience there is a beauty to the way they know when to hold back and when to let it out. This ebb and flow, the tension and release, helps to power the album forward. Lyrics further highlight this sensibility for the vocals go for a commanding presence.
A colossal rage reigns supreme over the album, at times touching upon the quiet/loud dynamics of Slint. Quite similar in that way, and their unique exploration of hardcore, there is an intensity that feels compelling, drawing one into their world. Volume is an absolute must for theirs is a sound that deserves to be felt. On the more metal side of things, another style they incorporate, they bring a bit of Deafheaven’s emotionally charged work into the proceedings resulting in something that feels fully realized.
“ISO” sets the tone for the album, featuring jagged distortion that helps to lend the work a distinct aggression. An ornate arrangement takes shape with “Palace” for the lyrics have a kindness to them, that works as a wonderful counterpoint to the heaviness of the piece. Powering on through comes the grandeur of “Temporary” where they bring a bit of the fragility of Explosions In The Sky sort of cinematic sprawl. Knotted riffs are woven together within the whole of “Shimmer”. Usage of space matters greatly on the stripped-down intimacy of “Drear” where they have an almost Gregorian-chant mysticism.
“2012” wastes no time, immediately bursting out onto the scene. Almost symphonic in its approach, the song has a vastness behind it. With “Anomaly” they allow a lot of playfulness to enter in granting the piece a timelessness. Easily the highlight of the album “Husk (feat. AJ Kotris)” is a true masterpiece, as they allow every single flourish plenty of time to shine. A slow burner for sure, they hold absolutely nothing back. On “Enough” they bring the whole of the album to a propulsive finale.
On their self-titled debut, Her Familiar features a tremendous fire and energy that runs through the whole of it, making the entire album a true trip.