I usually have a strange relationship with a lot of melodic punk albums. I always end up loving it, but they usually tend to be growers for me instead of blowing me away immediately the way a lot of heavier hitting albums do. Atlanta’s Reconciler Set Us Free is definitely an exception to this trend, as from the first listen I was digging it immediately and have played it almost daily since its release earlier this month. A lot of people seem to be sleeping on this album, and it’s a damn shame.
Even with Set Us Free being Reconciler’s first full length, there’s something nostalgic yet new about the album and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Perhaps it’s the vocals, which remind me a lot of Laura Jane Grace of Against Me, or the music which definitely draws inspiration from bands such as Avail and Smoke or Fire. From the opening chords of “Honest Words”, you know exactly what you’re in for with the rest of the album: gruff, heartfelt, and catchy as all hell anthems to shout along to.
The songs deal with personal failings, breakups, and the loss of youth, but never goes into full despair and keeps a glimmer of hope underneath it all. The lyrics for “Not What I Used To Be” are the perfect example of this : “I guess I found some value in my youth as it passed by/but I know I’ll never get it back even if I try/so you won’t catch me slumped in some ruts where I’ve already been/because I may break and I will fall but I get up again.”
Definitely one of my most played albums recently, if you like bands such as Hot Water Music and Smoke or Fire, definitely give Set Us Free a listen.
Favorites: Honest Words, Constants, All We Have, Not What I Used To Be