Attempting to unearth some semblance of emotional candour and intimacy, without the confidence or capacity to fully reveal your complete self to another, is a lesson not easily learned by the ultra-vulnerable. If you’ve ever been in a relationship where a struggle to communicate left you with a sense of longing, unfamiliarity or feeling at a distance from your partner – Concrete Armbands unapologetically wear this emotional heartache on their sleeves, in “… Like Russian Dolls”.
The unveiling begins with an initially stark soundscape of rising Synth lines, settling into some rather simple Digital Drum Programming. But – stay with it. Cloaked, even nesting within the subtle vulnerabilities of their opening verse, this Sheffield-based Alternative Rock Quartet slowly begin to reveal their true selves.
While taking musical cues from bands as diverse as Muse and Royal Blood, the second single from this up and coming band showcases an early propensity for standout divergence, indeed. Riding a non 4/4 Time Signature, the lilting guitar lines are soon stacked with stereophonic leads that eventually propel us through a painful, yet honest chorus. And – before the 3-minute mark, just like the euphoria of breaking out of our collective shells – the band bravely erupts into a cacophony of live drums, stirring distortion and a desperate declaration that they are still “no closer” to the elusive intimacy we all covet.
Sure. The trappings of any self-doubt are most often a consequence of feeling like you’re not good enough. Perhaps even, that you don’t have enough to offer. But in the case of “… Like Russian Dolls”, Concrete Armbands are revealing that they have much more than enough, on both counts.
With vocals that effortlessly dance between complex patterns, a modern mix of both Digital and Acoustic treatments and Songwriting that isn’t afraid to be both sensitive and seismic, give this one a listen and allow yourself a moment to fully unpack what is hidden inside.