The Myriad – With Arrows, With Poise
Release Date: May 13, 2008
Record Label: Koch Records
After gaining a fair amount of momentum with their excellent debut LP back in 2005, You Can’t Trust a Ladder, The Myriad seemed poised to strike it rich both within the scene and with the Christian crowd they courted with their semi-religious lyrical stylings. But after almost three years would our ADD-afflicted circle embrace (or even remember) these guys? Well, winning the Dew Breakout Circuit earlier this year certainly can’t help but serve as a refresher. But beyond that? We will have to see.
Attention for With Arrows, With Poise thus far has piggybacked the success of The Myriad’s new single, “A Clean Shot” – and justifiably so. The track is a smash dripping with commercial appeal unlike anything that appeared on You Can’t Trust a Ladder. A sexy, fuzzed out guitar riff and an uncharacteristically strong hook bolster the tune in proper fashion, making it sound like Muse-gone-mainstream. Frontman Jeremy Edwardson certainly does little to deflect comparisons to Matt Bellamy, or even Lovedrug vocalist Michael Shepard, as he is caught imitating both on the single and cuts like “Forget What You Came For.” Beyond the aforementioned, Arrows is a bit of a mixed bag. “You Waste Time Like a Grandfather Clock” is a slick, atmospheric number the crescendos into a massive arena-sized chorus, as does “The Accident” but then songs like “Holiest of Thieves” fall rather flat under the weight of their own ambition, trying to be progressive and moody (but just end up being dull). The band refreshingly steps out of the shadows a bit for the extremely poppy “A Thousand Winters Melting” which is pleasing to the ear, but does indeed sound out of place on the record.
The band tosses out a handful of other play-it-safe pieces that would sound right at home on You Can’t Trust a Ladder but does recover with the hypnotic, ethereal ambience of “Throwing Punches” (Thom Yorke-ish beat and all) and the otherworldly, celestial delicacy of the closer, “Stuck in a Glass Elevator.” Overall, With Arrows, With Poise is far from a total disappointment, but it’s hard to convince yourself that The Myriad couldn’t have done a bit more with this release. There is no doubting the band’s talent, to be sure, but when you stack the entire record here against its finest offerings, it seems a bit inconsistent, if nothing else. Regardless, With Arrows, With Poise is a sonically rewarding and lyrically challenging experience for listeners of all belief structures that is worth spending some time with.
My thoughts on the album were similar. Cool and ethereal - I was also reminded of the more ambient parts of Thrice's Alchemy Index, especially Water - but occasionally dull. Worth checking out, though, and the songs are growing on me.
haven't heard their first, but this album rules. i checked this band out due to the artist of the week spots on mtv.
Fixed. It's not a crime to get music from MTV. In fact, one of the first times I heard Something Corporate was the video for "I Woke up in a Car" on some old broadcast of some MTV channel with crappy reception
Love this album and this band. The only thing that erked me about this album compared to their last is the fact that his vocals sound so incredibly similar to Michael Shepard from Lovedrug. The comparison was there for their first release, but it was never this close before.