Much like the scene in 300 where King Leonidas roars, "This is Sparta!" Brent Walsh starts off Satori with a battle cry of his own in "Speak To Me", the opening track to their first full length album released through Equal Vision Records. Written during a transitional period in the frontman's life after a breakup, the lyrics are relatable to many. Widely known for painting movie scenes with words, "Speak To Me" takes the uncommon approach to a breakup song and pleas for the heartbreaker to take the broken out of their mind, instead of wishing oneself to stop dwelling on their image. What's worth noting is I The Mighty's ability to break a song from its normal rhythmic cycle. From a constant feed of double bass drums and eighth note strumming, the band easily manipulates their pace to selectively emphasize certain verses- in turn creating a spatial auditory expedition.
Settling into a style that carries out the instrumental potential the four piece provides, the dynamic between Walsh and Ian Pedigo's two guitars is one that fills each void with a foundation laid by bass player Chris Hinkley and fostered by Blake Dahlinger's drumming. Adding on to 2012's Karma Never Sleeps, I The Mighty takes a more aggressive approach to their post-hardcore sound with supplementary screams added in the vocal lines. Although Walsh still adds in his falsetto coos when called for, we can expect a more guttural power behind each of the lines sung. Vocals aside, each instrument receives its rightful spotlight.
"Ivy" starts off slow, but don't let that stop it from quickly becoming a favorite. Between the rolling bass line and drum fills, the melodic harmony of the chorus pulls you in quickly. It's quite often to see sister songs on the same album or to have a sequel on the consequent album, but it's another thing to have a prequel appear after the fact. The sixth track on the album, "The Frame II: Keep Breathing" actually serves as the prequel to "The Frame III: Sirocco" on their previous EP. Unobtrusive to this fact, the song carries on without letting on to this secret until the ending coda where one really begins to put the two together to realize this all. Teasingly though, compare the two chorus lines and you may see some similarities. This song has to be one of the strongest examples of the band's inventive songwriting as they feature a Latin beat bridge before the breakdown where it carries on to a strong end.
The following track, "Four Letter Words", features soulful vocals from Colleen D'Agnostino of The Material. Perfectly placed in an album that revolves around a breakup, the song travels through the internal battles of learning to trust, love, and lust again. In "Echoes", I The Mighty gives a nod to their 2012 release and work in the EP name in the song's lyrics. At the first sounds of acoustic guitars, one might be quick to skip over "Occupatience", but it's not your typical acoustic song of droll soul searching, or upbeat poppy strumming. Instead, it serves as a dark folk song as Walsh steps away from the topic of heartbreak and takes his stand at the pulpit to preach over the state of our economy. "A Spoonful of Shallow Makes Your Head an Empty Space" picks up the tempo and sets the pace for the closing four tracks of Satori. With resolution, "Embers" continues us on the journey of lost love where we can begin to see some closure and acceptance come across, but that could be negated by the following "Between The Lines". Closing with "The Quick Fix", you're reminded of all the reasons why you fell in love with I The Mighty in the first place, and forcing you to promptly hit repeat.
Review written by Sarah Helwig.