Review: thisquietarmy – Resurgence

Resurgence is the culmination of four years of writing and recording, interspersed between Eric Quach’s various other EPs, albums and splits. So expansive is its coverage – hurtling between pools of reverb-heavy guitar drone, hypnotic space rock and lurching shoegaze ballads – that there’s a sense that the album is a creative “cleansing” of sorts, by which tracks that simply don’t fit in elsewhere can find their place in a grand, all-encompassing statement. Resurgence doesn’t capture at point in time or a state of mind; its material sounds as though it stems from an array of compositional environments and mindsets, the culmination of which simply proclaims: “this is the sound of thisquietarmy”.

Therefore; while the album may encompass an eclectic palette of times and locations, they’re all rooted in what frequents to Quach’s discography will be able to identify as the project’s “trademark” sound. Guitars are fed through heavy doses of distortion and reverb before being channelled into melancholy that is simultaneously intimate and planetary in proportion. The presence of drum programming locks some melodies into songs that gallop at high speed or stutter like aged machines, while its absence causes other pieces to drift as meteorite debris, destined hopelessly for nowhere in particular.

It’s a lot of material for a single listening session (personally, I opted to take the bonus disc as a separate dose), and there’s argument for a few of these tracks being rejected from the cut. There are pieces (particularly on disc two) that feel like mere fragments that have yet to be refined and polished – they feel like half sentences, upon which a vague idea is suggested without the finesse of an assertive, convincing delivery. Naturally, they’re effortlessly eclipsed by the likes of “The Cold Vacancy” (the album’s panoramic 19-minute closer), which cycles beautifully in a vibrant display of warm ambient lights and meandering thuds of percussion. As an album, Resurgence harnesses both Quach’s most deeply penetrative tracks to date alongside some more tentative, forgettable sketches. But as a work that offers a thorough insight into thisquietarmy’s dazzling astral atmospheres, the record does a mighty good job.