Acres – ‘Lonely World’

By Gem Rogers

The road to a debut album can be a long one – something south coast four piece Acres know all too well. Fortunately, as drinkers of Guinness can attest, good things come to those who wait, and two years after the release of debut EP ‘In Sickness & Health’ we have finally been given the full length ‘Lonely World’.

Occupying a similar musical space to another band who released their long-awaited debut earlier this year, Acres offer their own spin on the vast, atmospheric post-rock that Holding Absence do so well. Opening with an intricate piano melody on the instrumental ‘Deathbed’, it’s a dramatic beginning to this incredibly mature debut; with this first track more classical in style than post-hardcore, it’s an aural drawing back of the curtain into Acres’ world, with a pounding crescendo led by Konnor Bracher-Walsh’s drums.

It leads swiftly into the heavier ‘Medicine’, where Ben Lumber’s soft singing voice gives way to screams that wouldn’t be out of place in metalcore. There are echoes of early Funeral For A Friend tucked away in tracks like this and the later ‘Talking In Your Sleep’, especially in the control demonstrated as the band unleash their full power at the right moments, emphasising the emotion within the lyrics.

‘Lonely World’ is an album that comes directly from the heart, tapping into pain, loss, and sorrow as Lumber’s earnest vocal is complemented by the ambient, soaring instrumentation; despite its intensity, nothing feels overblown, building to natural, rich, and deeply emotive climaxes. There are occasional moments that could do with a little more bite to drive the album and track forward – Bracher-Walsh clearly has the ability to provide that edge, but his drums are sometimes allowed to fade too much into the background. It’s a minor flaw, though, on this ambitious debut, with its sweeping and immersive soundscape.

From the gentle tones of most recent single ‘Lullaby’ to the impassioned cries, the almost grungy verses of title track ‘Lonely World’, and the pop-infused melodies of ‘Sharpen Your Teeth’, Acres explore a wide range of sounds with plenty of highlights; the uplifting ‘You Are Not’ is an instant standout, a supportive arm reaching out to the listener with words of comfort.

It would be so easy, when incorporating so many different styles into one album, to never really do proper justice to any of them – jack of all trades, master of none, as the saying goes. Yet, with ‘Lonely World’, Acres have crafted a fully cohesive album that is often surprising, and always beautiful. Their identity is clear, and though there’s still plenty of scope for them to build on and strengthen their sound, this is still one of the strongest debuts of the year. Acres are about to make their mark, and this is an album well worthy of your time – lots of it.

GEM ROGERS

Three more album reviews for you

Knocked Loose - A Different Shade Of Blue

Noah Gundersen - 'Lover'

LIVE: 2000Trees Festival 2019 - Saturday