[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
There was no way I was going to let this one slip by; their debut was a spectacular affair which made an impact on this wizened set of ears. As this year burned down, I found myself playing their latest even more than what had come before; a far greater emphasis on dynamics has somehow wormed its way into the core of what they do musically. As a side note, here are a few other things they like to do: brew their own beer and play live incessantly.
The latter is what makes ‘Anyone, Anywhere’ have the immediacy it does; in no time at all these songs coalesce and then charge across the sound field, never flagging and definitely never losing their focus. I would say I/O are operating on a forward facing axis which demands constant motion. This is the record they’ll be best remembered for as the connecting segue ways between songs find them at their most experimental. It makes me wonder what other projects the individual members have in development… there’s much more to them than just the pretty melodies and manic time changes.
What I’m hearing could not have been done without week upon week of rehearsals punctuated by going back through it all and picking out the bits they liked best; no bunch of cynical recording industry insiders would have come up with this. The burning desire to push this hard artistically generally only comes from the young, so let us sit back and bask in their efforts because a record such as this doesn’t come along very often; if they are able to expand upon what they’ve done in 2017 – never mind, I’m certain they will, this band are rarely stationary.
Not content to just give us the same arsenal we’ve heard previously, I/O augment themselves with guests on Trumpet, Viola, Violin, Cello, French Horn and Trombone. These new elements are cunningly woven into their sonic tapestry with the subtle restraint which underlines and typifies the elegant pieces which have come to define them. Detail once again is everything; for a sophomore release to pack such a punch is a treat. We’re taken along with them as they journey from place to place; through the sumptuously complex work they compose we get to experience a small amount of what they’ve encountered.
We’re with them at the start on the 60 going south, passing through Allston and eventually ending up on Rte. 89 headed for destinations unknown…