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The October - Bye Bye Beautiful Review

by Scott Frazier

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"Bye Bye Beautiful" is not a breakthrough in the rock world. It's not going to change anyone's opinion on the current state of music. It is however a collection of 12 highly enjoyable shoegaze-informed songs. Opener "Through the Waves and Stars" sets the pace with soft chords emerging out of a My Bloody Valentine-esque wall of sound. Vocalist Dustin Burnett is a very commanding presence over a guitar line reminiscent of Jimmy Eat World. The first song is one of the more impressive and catchy tracks on the album, however none of the rest stray too far from the mold that is laid out here.

Even on the more straightforward radio rock offerings, such as "Bedroom Girls", Burnett's voice remains soothing and holds the album together (though most of the lyrics are silly and easily dismissed). "Gravity" rises out of a low hum and becomes a moody pulsing post-punk song in the vein of Interpol or the Cure.

However, despite all the hooks (some great, some forgettable), the album doesn't reach its peak until "Holy Ghost", the closing track. It eschews the midtempo standard rock format which the October have established and instead features a sparse arrangement of haunting
vocals and building guitars. It explodes into the most beautiful writing anywhere on "Bye Bye Beatiful" and then just as quickly descends back into fuzzed out guitars and a whisper.

The October have made something that might prove easy to disregard in a year or two, but this album could also be an excellent leaping point, and well deserving of a listen.


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