The best word with which to describe Rescuer is cathartic. They stick to the age-old principle of post-hardcore: purge your every emotion into your music. Forget about fancy production and mixing, you’re meant to be an honest reflection of everything you’re feeling. That is precisely what Rescuer does. The vocals leave much to be desired for if you’re looking for good, melodic harsh vocals. The guitars are anything but controlled. Mess about with your equaliser too much and the band begins to sound like the equivalent of an angry band of 14-year-olds. You may be reading this review and wondering what happened to my normal style of developing the history of the band and then attempting to praise their sound. Well, the band does sound great and that is because they ARE honest and cathartic. Upon listening to their music, you can feel the band’s pain and how they poured their heart and soul into each and every single one of these songs. They’re a band that follows the lead of the likes of La Dispute and Touché Amore, making music that reaches within the listeners and rips out all their emotions.
Rescuer abandons the typical post-hardcore method of crashing drums and clean, melodic guitar riffs coupled with high-pitch fry screams and soaring, clean vocals. Instead they tend to focus more on the word “hardcore” and aim to create a sonic mess of sound to back up cathartic shouted vocals that border on being both clean and unclean. Rescuer chooses much edgier and sharper guitar riffs which screech out ahead of a hyperactively lazy drum beat that is unsure when to be slow and when to be fast. This instrumental setup results in a whirlwind of noise which assaults you from all directions, yet at the same sounds like a beautiful mess.
Anxiety Answering opens with the aptly titled “White Noise”. This introduces you to the band’s chaotic sound. It is the musical version of white noise as you can close your eyes and instantly, and ironically, be soothed by the song’s harsh sound. It shifts from aggressive and razor-sharp guitar riffs to much calmer yet edgy guitar riffs. In another case of irony, the vocals are harsher when backed up by the calm riffs.
“Muscle Memory” begins with an art rock-styled plucking of the guitar until launching into a breakdown. The breakdown comes out of nowhere and will shock you out of the trance you may have descended into. The song ends as abruptly as it began with the lyrics “trying to change.” “Out of Focus” takes a leaf out of Johnny Foreigner’s book by opening with a jarring indie rock-styled guitar riff before launching into Rescuer’s preferred style of creating a sonic mess while maintaining an artistic sense of beauty. A beautiful aspect of this song is the disembodied voices chanting the line “All I hear is just a goodbye song.”
The lead single off this album was “Leaning, Curved”. This song truly embraces both post-rock roots and hardcore roots of post-hardcore. The guitars have a soaring yet noisy atmosphere to them while embodying the aggressive nature of hardcore. The vocals take on a Touche Amore-esque style as there is a combination of harsh vocals and spoken word. “Matrimony” gives one the feeling of the band taking inspiration from La Dispute, as it is entirely based on spoken word vocals.
This album in its ten-song entirety is a plunge into the emotional deep end. The sheer chaos within the musical structure acts as an unintentional reflection upon the chaos of life while the lyrics reflect various aspects of hurt within life. You could criticise Rescuer for emulating the likes of La Dispute and Touche Amore, yet you could also praise them for not choosing to take a lesser-chosen road and not attempting to sound like a Sleeping With Sirens or Pierce the Veil cover band. Despite the comparison between Rescuer and the likes of La Dispute, the band still captures a sense of identity with their mashing together of punk, alternative, hardcore and post-rock.