Where to begin with I Buried the Box with Your Name’s debut album ‘To Change’? Well I guess it’s best to with saying that ‘To Change’ is one of the most singular and enjoyable listening experiences I’ve had this year, or any other for that matter. From start to finish you are taken on a ride and at no point during any of the eight songs that make up the album do you know where it is going, or where it will end. At times you have to wonder if the band does either, but this is part of its charm.
The album opens with hypnotic, almost afro beat, guitars as cymbals crash and ripple around before the lyric “Maybe it was the cycle or the incarnation. Your soul floats towards a brighter day, but there’s none here anymore. I will try to take your pain away” is screamed at us. As the vocals get more guttural and in pained, the music slows down intensify. When a late night choir starts singing “Any time I hear you, I think that I’m dreaming. Every time I see you, I know that I’m dreaming” the music starts to build and grow. This is all within 90 seconds. The remained of ‘Cat Party’ is a cacophonic and discombobulating experience. But it tells us a few things about the album. Firstly we can’t take anything for granted. Just because a song starts a certain way, doesn’t mean it will end that way. Secondly I Buried the Box with Your Name can fucking play and have great restraint. Usually when a band starts to shred, and solo, they just get lost in the experience and the song suffers, on ‘Cat Party’ these are fleeting moments, used either as a pause or a full stop to a section, before the band goes off a 90 degree in another musical direction and lastly I Buried the Box with Your Name have having a blast. You can feel their enjoyment emanating from the music and it makes the songs better for it.
‘To Change’ is hinged on the nine minute monster ‘(de)fused’. If the preceding five tracks have taught us anything and that’s not to think about what will happen and just go with it. As the riffs come thick and fast, so do the time signatures. Half way through they start saying ‘So confused’. Are they guessing how we’ll feel by this point in the album, or are they bewildered by the heady mix of math they’ve created? Either way ‘(de)fused’ goes on a mellow trip for a bit, before slowly ramping up the riffs and tension until it gently fades out. Right at the end a lyric is sung that not only sums up the song, but album “I think it’s safe to say, I’m losing faith in the human race, yet I still say honestly, I love my life and today”. And like a fever dream. It’s over.
Yes ‘To Change’ can be a little sloppy in places and yes some of it could have been trimmed and slightly more polished, but these imperfections make the album enjoyable. It shows that I Buried the Box with Your Name have grand ideas and don’t want to settle for being a standard post-hardcore, screamo, or whatever genre you want to call it, band. Instead they’ve decided to aim high and push themselves and they won’t let a few muffs and unrealised moments derail them. This is to be commended and praised. ‘To Change’ isn’t for everyone, however if you give it time and a chance, it will bury itself deep in your head and become something you can return to time after time and hear something different. After playing ‘To Change’ I can honestly say I love my life and today.