Album Review: Filligar – ‘Keepsakes Of The Interior’

Keepsakes Of The Interior
(Decade Records)

Maybe it’s because I’m getting old (because, you know, mid-20s is old) but I find myself enjoying indie rock more and more every year. As a young teenager I scoffed at anyone who listened to anything that wasn’t punk or metal. As my music tastes have developed though, I’ve come to not only appreciate, but thoroughly enjoy listening to artists in that genre of music. I still prefer to go to metal shows, but sometimes it’s nice to wind down after a long day by listening to something like The Ugly Organ. if that sounds appealing to you, then Keepsakes Of The Interior may be an album you want to check out.

Filligar consists of three brothers and one of their buddies – all hailing from Chicago, IL. Even though they have been active since 2000, I only recently discovered them. Their last album, Hexagon, was well-received by fans and critics alike. It’s something that I have also enjoyed myself in recent months, so I was looking forward to their new album. Hexagon was incredibly upbeat, and had plenty of folk influence infused in every track. Keepsakes Of The Interior is a bit of a departure from that sound though. It’s less folky, and while it’s still relatively upbeat, the pace has slowed down a bit. This may be a disappointment for some fans, but overall it seems to be a smart decision on the band’s part.

Keepsakes Of The Interior opens up with the track “Motor Shine.” It’s immediately apparent that the band has all but abandoned that twangy folk sound they embraced in their previous album. There aren’t any prominent harmonica parts in this or any of the other tracks, and they’ve moved on from the folksy guitars. They actually sound a lot more like some of the really popular artists in the indie rock genre like Mumford And Sons, The Lumineers and Of Monsters And Men.

“White Light Rose” is the third track, and one of my personal favorites. It opens with some electronic noises and steady drumbeat. It quickly transitions into the frontman singing with distorted vocals. It’s one of the faster-paced tracks, but I like it so much because of the distorting effects added to the vocals and instruments. The song reminds me a bit of some indie rock songs from the early 2000s. There are a handful of tracks on this album which sound like they would have fit right in 10 years ago. That would also include the next track, which is “Photos Of Madrid.” Considering this genre seems to be experiencing a significant resurgence over the last couple of years, it’s perfect timing for a band like this to release music with the potential to appeal to a wide audience.

While the band may use many of the same techniques as the other indie outfits out there today, they certainly managed to maintain a unique sound. When it comes down to it, their lyrics are really what sets them apart. To me, in just about every genre of music, the lyrics are what’s most important to the band’s success. They can have the best guitar solo ever created but if their lyrics are cheesy and cliche then they just aren’t interesting. Filligar know how to write catchy lyrics and pair them up perfectly with the instruments.

If there was one song on this release that should be your summer anthem it would be “Never Better.” The song will make you want to drop whatever you’re doing and head outside to enjoy the open road. The final track on this release, “The Vandal & The Godsend,” is a 6 1/2 minute long explorative dive into an atmospheric, distorted sound. The dreamy chorus and instruments elicits feelings of thoughtful tranquility. It’s a nice, leveled approach to wrapping up a nearly fifty minute long album. The entire album has a bit of a psychedelic feel to it, and this track is the epitome that sound.

Overall, the album is quite enjoyable. It’s a great summer jam, and you will want to take it along with you on long road trips across the country. There are some tracks that are more memorable than others, but that doesn’t detract much from the listenability of the record. They managed, for the most part, to make each individual track unique enough to prevent them from blurring together by the time you get to the last one. These guys might be under the radar for the most part, but they certainly shouldn’t be. They have some solid lyricism, and just enough of a unique sound to help them stand out amongst many of the other artists who are currently at their level.

Purchase Keepsakes Of The Interior on iTunes.

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