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Although there are only three of them, the Texas boys from Ivy League have achieved a strong sound that is fuller and bigger than other bands boasting double the members. Their latest, Transparency is an album full of melodic punk rock anthems with a hint of pop punk and hardcore in there to please just about anyone. It’s an album that’s unlikely to go amiss in heavy music circles this year and may just shape up to be one of the most solid punk records of the year.
The leading track, ‘Canopy’ is rounded out for the most part by the throaty, calculated vocals of Ivy Leagues’ lead singer, whose style fits the band’s rhythmic, experimental brand of melodic punk like a well-worn glove. ‘History Repeats’ follows with a heightened energy and sense of desperation, supplemented by the repetition of lyrics, "I never want to feel this way again." A large chunk of Ivy League’s huge, anthem punk sound is the erratic, viscous nature of hard-hitting percussion in songs like, ‘Void’ and ‘Losing Sleep.’ Here, the band achieves an incredible forcefulness and unchecked aggression that is thrilling and impressive.
‘Coalesce’ plays around a bit with the group’s sound, canvasing it with a sense of urgency generated by the combination of guttural screams and myriad of delicious melodic riffs and progressions that are beautifully atmospheric. This leads quite effectively into the record’s instrumental track, ‘Egress’, which is a golden track on the album and not one to be dismissed. Ivy League does well to exhaust all their energy in the last two tracks on the record, ‘All My Skeletons’ and ‘My Mercenary.’ Both songs are pleasingly melodic and confronting belligerent, with ‘All My Skeletons’ proving to be a clear winner on the album.
Ivy League don’t hold anything back and it’s clear by listening to ‘Transparency’ that the record making process involves for them a process by which they empty all their energy and passion into their music. If you’re looking for a solid punk band that could give the likes of Make Do and Mend and Daylight a run for their money, then look no further than Ivy League.
2. History Repeats
7. Losing Sleep
8. Watch You Suffer
9. Daily Pt. 2
10. All My Skeletons
11. My Mercenary