Noble Son – Joy of Violence
From BC, Vancouver comes Adam Kirschner a singer, songwriter and even voice actor, who is here to deliver his musical message via his debut under the Noble Son moniker. His flagship record Joy in Violence is a tour de force of textures, layers, immaculately woven production and varied instrumentation that renders each track an individual experience from the song that preceded it. These nine tracks get in your head and stay there thanks to eclectic songwriting that’s unafraid of constantly making new challenges for itself.
Opener “Problem Daughter” utilizes tapestries of melodic, psychedelic vocals that glide over a downtempo piano introduction that slowly builds the atmosphere with a digital beat and secondary instrumental melodies. It eventually rises to a crashing but beautiful cacophony of phonetic vocal sounds, crunchy drums and sweltering indie/noise guitar white-washing. “Aces” places a poignant and lamenting vocal melody atop of a gliding industrial beat and droning bass fugues. Even though it stays in a slower pace it constantly moves forward and propels itself by tweaking the vocals into higher more majestic registers as background keys cover the percussive and low-end textures with gorgeous, neoclassical oddness. Bring in some slithering, gorgeous acoustic guitars “Above the Dirt” is a more organic trip with skyward, positive vocal pushes that eventually descend into pulsating digital madness that toys with electronica and industrial elements alongside of straightforward rock akin to some of Radiohead’s varied experiments. It’s one of the album’s strongest cuts leading directly into “Jessi” which also allows the guitars to have the spotlight. This one brings in some blues in terms of the descending bass lines and sparkling star melodies which are all anchored by some very natural and refined production.
Bringing in cello to wrap around the piano and dogmatic beats, “Don’t Stop” is a dark, emotive journey through Kirschner’s deeper mental recesses that wins over the eardrums thanks to some beautiful sonic madness. “You Are Your Mother” buries itself yet again in a strange indie blues aura that pairs classic instruments with unusual electronic textures which makes it an excellent companion piece to the dirge-laden “Love You Back,” leaving the closing of the title track to send out the album on a relatively and comparatively upbeat note when stacked up against the record’s many bleak, frosted-over slow motion jams. None of the material comes off as boring and is on the contrary quite exciting thanks to stellar writing that always finds new places and melodic heights to reach as the tunes unfold their secrets slowly with every passing second.
In all, Joy in Violence is a powerful statement lyrically, musically and sonically. The rich depth of the record will have you coming back for more, while the powerful melodies will cautiously and quietly work their way into your head and become permanent fixtures whenever you least expect. These tunes are memorable and well-written and never take you to the same place twice and the more you listen to the album, the more nuances you will pull from each track even if many of the tempos are uniform. This is a complete, front to back listening experience that everyone should take.