The Rocketboys - Build Anyway | Album Review | By Volume

The kid that went down isn't dead; he just can't find his phone. The Hold Steady - Almost Everything
buildanyway

The Rocketboys

Build Anyway

A shimmering triumph.

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Author: on June 27, 2012
7.0
Self-Released
June 5, 2012

“What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.” The Rocketboys, hailing from Austin, put themselves under pressure from the very outset of their second full-length album, but if Build Anyway doesn’t wilt and struggle under the weight of its own ambition, then it should cope fine with the grandiose resilience of Mother Teresa. Every track here announces in a different manner that it intends on positively soaring by the time it’s through, and they all succeed. There’s nothing of a swagger about the Rocketboys’ obvious high targets, though; Build Anyway manages at once to sound both colossal and humble. Opener “Bloodless”‘s organs don’t preach; this is the feel of a band whose sound is deliberately “cinematic”, without a doubt, but one which also understands how to construct a god-damn pop song, wordless choruses and all.

In fact, Build Anyway might be one of 2012’s most accessible records so far, from many an angle. Its ballads almost feel like rock songs and its rock songs hold tight to melody, making the album as a whole phenomenally tight and consistent. There are no artistic swerves, but it has sharp personality; “Hallowed Ground” best characterizes the buzz of gentle ambiance which seems to dust most of these tracks, and the more up-tempo cuts (especially closer “The Best”, which is so glorious it deserves its spot on our upcoming 4th Mixtape) bound with an energy which is difficult to describe. But Build Anyway is mostly about its ten excellent choruses, and the rest is all just a very beautiful accessory. A little more edge sonically would make the Rocketboys a force to be reckoned with indeed, but for the time being there’s absolutely no doubting their heart: Build Anyway is an emotionally charged listen from hushed intro to deafening climax.

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