Tacoma, WA post rock powerhouse Lo’ There Do I See My Brother have unleashed their debut album With Eyes Open, We Fall On Our Swords (available now through bandcamp) and are poised to take over the post-rock throne.
Lo’ There Do I See My Brother is:
Adam Wolbert – Vocals, Guitars, Keys
Caleb Baker – Vocals, Guitars
Ahren Lanfor – Bass, Synths
Will Chi – Drums
For Fans Of: Russian Circles, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mogwai, Pelican, Thrice
Finding good post-rock bands has always been a tedious task for me. Some are too soft/too quiet, and I would only listen to if I’m trying to fall asleep. Others are too ‘drone’ and obscure, and consist of static noise for twenty minutes with an interweaving of drums and guitar here and there and no rhythm. Well, imagine my excitement when I found the perfect recipe of solitude and fury in With Eyes Open, We Fall On Our Swords.
Lo’ There Do I See My Brother spent the last 9 months in a basement studio composing this record while also working full time. Hard work, dedication, passion and emotion was poured into every ounce of this album and has paid off extremely well. The result is a highly ambitious album that is rich with textures and blistering energy.
As I put on the album for the first time there were multiple instances where the music burst into this screaming explosion of sound that immediately made me grin and say ‘Wow, this is awesome.’ Admittedly when I saw that the first track “Birth” was 16:42 long, I was a bit afraid. I thought ‘Oh great, they’ll be 10 minutes of ambient noise before the rest of the band comes in, but I was wrong. Within 1 minute the drums kick in to a steady beat, and at 3 minutes the guitar and bass layers kick in. But what really sold me was the eruption at the 4:30 mark that carries you to the rhythmic pummeling at the 12:30 mark. All of this and we’re only on track 1!? This is going to be good!
Not all the songs are instrumental either. Singer Adam Wolbert shows off his vocal ability in the tracks “Caught In the Shadows”, “Death”, “Facing Myself”, and “You Were the Source”. You won’t find any unintelligible screaming, or off-key melodies here, Adam’s subtle yet eerie vocals compliment the layers of ringing guitars. I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth the vocals were pulled off, the tone match the mood of the song, and are not overpowering or mismatched and do not diminish the song; another high point to the album.
The closing track “Vivian” starts off as a solo piano track that solemnly brings the album to a close – but you’re not getting away that easy. About halfway through the track, the power of the feedback guitar crashes over the piano track like a tidal wave and sends you treading water till it subsides again and quietly sends you off with a grin on your face.
With Eyes Open, We Fall On Our Swords is a great listen from start to finish, with enough variation to keep you interested through the entire album, which is quite a feat for many bands, let alone a debut album! I wasn’t able to find any one song on the album that I wanted to skip, I had to absorb every note each time I listened.
“Caught In the Shallows”
“You Were The Source”
Interview with Lo’ There Do I See My Brother
You have quite an interesting band name. How did “Lo’ There Do I See My Brother” originate, has it ever changed?
Our name is from a viking warrior prayer, we originally had a different name but had to change it to avoid copyright infringement.
How did the band meet?
Adam Wolbert and Caleb Baker started the band after their old band broke up, We recorded our first track with Ahren Lanfor and he played bass on it, while Adam did all the drums. We then found Jacob VanAntwerp as our drummer and he recorded all the drums for “With Eyes Open, We Fall On Our Swords”. Jacob recently left the band and now we have Will Chi as our new drummer.
Is there one song on the album that you’re particularly attached to right now?
Caleb: “Caught In The Shallows” is one of my favorites. It stands out and is super fun to play live.
Ahren: “Death” stands out for me. It’s one of the first early songs we wrote and has a lot of cool dynamic parts. it also rips at the end!
Adam: The song that I really connect with off the record lately is called ‘Facing Myself’. We played it live while on tour and that was my favorite song of our set.
Your songs are mostly instrumental. How do you determine which songs you put lyrics to?
Adam: I honestly don’t really think including/not including vocals has ever been a conscious decision while writing. We really take a very natural approach to constructing songs, and if it feels like a vocal line would be appropriate, we try it out, if not, we leave it alone.
What has been the biggest challenge on making this album?
Adam: For me it was definitely getting all the initial tracking finished. We all worked full time and scheduling was sometimes difficult.
Ahren: I recorded the album in my basement project studio and it’s not the friendliest acoustic place for tracking instruments but it worked for this effort. I think the biggest challenge was scheduling with each other to get it done which is funny because we all live together.
Caleb: Definitely recording in a basement without a control room and all the fancy studio stuff. Also we are picky and like to get things perfect so that took a while.
How do you feel you fit in within the Tacoma/Seattle music scene? Do you often get a lot of local support?
Adam: We don’t fit in very well at all haha. I really love that though. There are a few bands from the Seattle area that we have become close with that we ‘fit in’ with (X Suns, He Whose Ox Is Gored), but we are usually the odd band on the bill. I Feel like we all enjoy that. We love that every bill we play is different. We have played bills with acoustic projects all the way to bills with power violence/grind acts, and I personally enjoy being able to experience so many different musical communities. We have always been met with nothing but positive support thus far, and we are so blown away by that response. We are so humbled that we are able to stay true to ourselves and write music that is an expression of us as people and have listeners connect with that.
Ahren: We have so many friends in the music community from bands to people who go to shows and it truly feels like a small world here. For us to play mixed bill shows and not fit in feels great knowing that your music appears to be unique in the fact that nobody else kinda sounds like your band. We love it and hope that mixed bill shows keep happening in this area or others so it stays interesting in the scene.
What will 2013 bring for LTDISMB?
We are starting to write for a shorter release actually! We also plan on doing more touring, playing locally, and promoting the record.
Anything else you’d like to share:
Caleb: Thanks to anyone who has listened to us, booked us or supported us in anyway. Keep supporting local music!
Adam: Thank you for your continuing support of me and three of my best friends, we are so thankful to be writing, releasing, and performing music as Lo’ There Do I See My Brother. Make sure to check out ‘With Eyes Open, We Fall On Our Swords’ at http://lotheredoiseemybrother.bandcamp.com