Territories debut self-titled album out now.
The quest to find new music that ignites and inspires the soul is never a smooth path, like a wild animal foraging for scraps of acceptability in a wilderness of mediocrity the prey is often not enough to feed your appetite. Rarely, when you least expect it something very tasty comes out of nowhere and you feast like a king, recently I have been dining on Territories new album with 12 courses that ignite and inspire. A group of friends came together from the remains of Knucklehead, another Calgary band who had a bit of quality about them. Territories formed in 2015 and set about creating a sound of their own and the results can be heard on their self-titled debut album that’s available now.
The strumming guitar intro opens the door to the albums first track “Numb Somehow”, leading into 2.57 seconds that makes you stop what you’re doing and take notice. Heavy backbeats, rousing choruses, and melodic harmonies run through the album with ease, with track number one having it all in abundance I contemplate a one song album, which is by no means a letdown nowadays. Like a gunslinger waiting to unleash the skip button on track two “Green Eyes,” I’m left open-mouthed as they kick out another quality creation, with lyrics and arrangements that are at a slower pace but leave a lasting impression on the ear. I begin to think there is something here that’s going to be with me for some time but as I have been cut off at the knees previously on track three from a number of bands, I tread with caution waiting for the inevitable dip …alas it doesn’t come.
“New Thing” picks up the pace with not a dip in sight, I abandon thoughts of disappointment and have already declared the album a success 3 songs in (I question my own sanity after past disappointments). Thankfully my sanity is intact as another gem of a track appears on the list, “Quiet Voices” echoes through my ears, expertly gathering together music, lyrics, and vocals with creative expertise. Incredibly the album still has no skipped tracks delivering to a level so many can only strive for,next up is “The Bigger They Come” then comes that moment when you say yeah that’s the one. Track six “Then & Gone” is that song for me, it kicks all the doors open with emotion, power, passion, and melody, jangling guitars echo around the drums with a bass line that drives it all home together. To be the stand out track on this album takes something very special that will be listened to in years to come, and may well be heard through the corridors of any care home I frequent in the future.
“Heart that Breaks”, “Roman Walls” and “On With the Show” don’t let me down either as the album heads over the halfway line. I come to the conclusion that this album is relentless and with three songs to go I’m bracing myself for my “Droogs Don’t Run” moment, the one song that takes the gloss off an otherwise classic album “Shock Troops” from Cock Sparrer. “Standing in Place” comes and goes with me battering the steering wheel of the car like a drum while singing the chorus like an irate mime artist, to the amusement of other road users untouched by my musical experience. The album ends with “Wolves” and “Nulla Victoria” reaching the finish line without disappointment, another two tracks that keep the album’s high standards alive and kicking out to the end.
When writing a review for any band it is ultimately only one person’s point of view; giving an opinion as honestly and accurately as I can for others to take from it what they choose, it is very rare that I come across an album today which merits as many accolades as I have bestowed upon these 12 songs, but when something comes along that stirs my blood and is placed in that special collection of albums everyone should have, then I would like others to hear what they are missing out on.