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Suis La Lune - Riala Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.25
Musicianship 9
Lyrics 7.75
Production 7.5
Creativity 9.25
Lasting Value 9.25
Reviewer Tilt 9.5
Final Verdict: 86%
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Inside AP.net

Suis La Lune - Riala

Reviewed by: Jason Gardner (05/20/12)
Suis La Lune - Riala
Record Label - Topshelf Records
Release Date - May 22, 2012

Gorgeous. It’s a word used by hoards of people to describe different things. A prom dress. A beach sunset. Kittens even. So forgive me if I seem out of place when I say that the word I would use to describe Suis La Lune’s LP Riala, in all of its mystical clean guitar goodness, as gorgeous. It’s a little awkward at first when the band throws in a rhythmic blast (“Cornea”) or chooses to punch out hardcore-eyed percussion (“All That Meant Something”) during the ten tracks of this full-length. But as a whole, the tones and moods of the better chunk of Riala reflect a simple beauty played out in lacing, churning guitar licks and near-pleading vocals. The twists and turns, whether it be a darkened chord slam or uptempo drumming, only make the path of this album that much more endearing as time goes on. Cohesive, emotionally charged and catchy in a weird way – Riala stakes its claim as one of more impressive records of its kind so far this year.

“Cornea” is a crunching uptempo opener that kind of gives a false impression. Certainly, fans of the likes of The Saddest Landscape and the like will appreciate the moments of abrasion, but as far as giving us a taste for the rest of the album, this track stands out a bit more from the bunch. Though engrossed in melody and active percussion like much of this album, the addition of a hint of aggression helps this song sticking out amongst the field. “Sense in a Broken Dialogue” is also a bit on the grittier side, featuring explosive percussion and sharper guitars in addition to the melodic slathering Riala seems to pull no punches on. Though the harsher moments are few and far between – and at first listen honestly might throw you for a loop – they act as cathartic outbursts for both band and listener, a release of otherwise contemplated and questioned emotional struggle through musical guidance. The crazy thing about it though? It just feels natural in retrospect. Even the periodic percussive speedups of “Hands are For Helping” are done in a way that the song flows from structure to structure rather than jumping points along a path.

Songs like “Stop Motion”, anchored in smooth bass and strong melodies, certainly make more of a point on the ears as far as the overall sound of Riala. The sparser orchestrated parts work well for the most part too, though “In Confidence” seems like a tug-of-war between whether the band wants to pour it all on or not in the simpler middle section of the track. “Remorse” falls into a similar category, sounding much more like a trumpet-backed, toned down This Town Needs Guns with its lush, noodling guitars, while seven-minute ender “One and All, Every Bit” pours everything, heart, soul and sound, into this emotional ender. The varying vocals, none of which sound very conventional outside of the band’s supposed genre, add layers of emotion to an otherwise stacked deck of passionate outpours. It's a hurdle some will have with the band's sonic profile, but as far as 'left field' goes for vocals, Suis La Lune's are certainly part of the less quirky category.

Though the album weaves itself up inside of its own mesmerizing tapestry of guitars and often driving percussion, the innocent self-reflection of “One and All” via a love story ends the album in full-circle like fashion. Words like ‘First time I saw you, my heart skipped a beat / First time I held your hand I shook like a leaf’ seem a bit played out in this context, but the delivery and atmosphere Suis La Lune create sells their craft – not just the existence of it. It is a fitting ending, and a reminder from Suis La Lune that emotion knows no bounds in expression if it is done with passion.

There's very little for me to try and say against this record. Does it have crossover appeal that will bring more people to the screamo genre? Not outside of the guitar work, as vocally, lyrically and structurally this album does not take the easy or most accessible route. Does it have instant clicking as far as getting into it right away? Probably not. But the fantastic thing about an album like Riala is having this album grow on you as you learn the twists and turns these tracks take. As much as I like a good pop song, a piece of music with a bit of thought and heart behind it trumps something that's simple and catchy pretty much any day in my book. As far as this type of music goes, Suis La Lune really have dialed in all of the elements to make something that musically sticks and makes you want to learn the lyrics as you go along – an issue many seem to take with bands procuring vocals such as these.

Riala’s ‘complex pop song’ description might sound ridiculous, but it truly isn’t too far off. Coupling memorable mountains of melody with strong, yet challenging songwriting, Riala’s four year wait only begs the question as to how long we might have to wait for Suis La Lune to trump themselves next time around – and how the band might find a way to do it.

Recommended If You LikePianos Become The Teeth and This Town Needs Guns thrown in a blender?
 
Displaying posts 1 - 12 of 12.
12:22 AM on 05/21/12
#2
BusterBluth
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I'm so excited for this
06:17 AM on 05/21/12
#3
HeavenResign
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Sounds like this album is just like I hoped it'd be - I LOVED the singing that there was on the Heir EP, is there more on this? Couldn't find anything referencing it in the review really.
08:02 AM on 05/21/12
#4
adamxdasilva
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That RIYL is perfect, definitely checking this out.
10:26 AM on 05/21/12
#5
subplotofcrows
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Definitely gonna check this out, and awesome review. However, the line "Certainly, fans of the likes of The Saddest Landscape and the like" seems a bit redundant.
12:53 PM on 05/21/12
#6
Tyler Vagyler
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have they released a song for this yet?
01:57 PM on 05/21/12
#7
Jason Gardner
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Sounds like this album is just like I hoped it'd be - I LOVED the singing that there was on the Heir EP, is there more on this? Couldn't find anything referencing it in the review really.
If we're thinking of the same thing, then yes.
04:23 PM on 05/21/12
#8
dlaug
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have they released a song for this yet?
siqshit.com has a stream of "Remorse"

Alright, Topshelf. Send out those download links. I'm ready to listen to this.
11:34 PM on 05/21/12
#9
ShotgunGold
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86% Goood!! I've pre-ordered this. Should be with me in a week or so!

I'm pretty sure nothing will beat "Quiet, Pull The Strings!" for me - listened to it well over 50 times I reckon - but still I can't wait for this one!

Edit: Oh and also I think it does have crossover appeal. I've listened to a few American screamo bands like Saetia, and some European stuff like Daitro and I think the European stuff has more crossover appeal, but this band is the only one that I can say I keep coming back to - and I'm mainly a pop/rock fan!!
04:18 PM on 05/22/12
dlaug
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86% Goood!! I've pre-ordered this. Should be with me in a week or so!

I'm pretty sure nothing will beat "Quiet, Pull The Strings!" for me - listened to it well over 50 times I reckon - but still I can't wait for this one!

Edit: Oh and also I think it does have crossover appeal. I've listened to a few American screamo bands like Saetia, and some European stuff like Daitro and I think the European stuff has more crossover appeal, but this band is the only one that I can say I keep coming back to - and I'm mainly a pop/rock fan!!
Agree with your edit. My favorite is their stuff on Heir. So good. But this album rules as well.
10:52 PM on 05/30/12
Imminueimmaws
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12:22 AM on 01/13/14
Jmckevitt94
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The guitar tone in this album is impeccable holy shit.
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