Album Review: Ithaca – They Fear Us

Ithaca return to once again unapologetically rupture the status quo with eagerly-awaited second album, They Fear Us.

The album hardly starts before it erupts into raw emotion, but within “In The Way” are just these sweeping melodies than the weave into the chaos providing an absolute blistering start. This follows into “The Future Says Thank you” and I’m already in awe of how something so raw can at the same time be engulfed in beauty.

The title track “They Fear Us” is not only my highlight track of the album but feel it’s going to be a live favourite and get a lot of airplay – it even got the attention of my eldest child so it’s clearly got a winning formula.

In the words of Ithaca:

We’re proud to present “They Fear Us”, the debut single from our second album.

It reflects one of the big themes of the album – discovering and harnessing inner power, strength, revenge and retribution; challenging masculine power structures both in a general but also deeply personal sense. It’s a deific statement of intent – they may have hurt us before but now they fear us and you should too. In short, The Language of Injury was the “fuck about”, They Fear Us is the “find out”.

These ideas are reflected in the lyrics but also in the musical choices. The vocal sample is a field recording Sam made while he was in India grieving his mother’s death, of a priest leading a Ganga Aarti ceremony next to the Ganges – this ceremony invites Mother Ganga in and asks for her blessing, reflecting the power of the divine feminine. The drum break is pitched up to create a similar sound to a dhol.

We’re so happy to share music that we feel reflects who we truly are as a band, standing unapologetically as us.

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Not missing a beat “Camera Eats First” – the harmonies once again amalgamate with both the hypnotic guitar parts and the emotion of Djamila Boden Azzouz’s vocals who has the ability to engage the listener into every single world throughout the album. Short and swift in its delivery “Cremation Party” delivers the perfect aesthetic of everything this album is.

The riff that runs throughout “Number Five” is absolutely one of the riffs that stays with you even after the album ends, the addition of even harsher backing vocals is also a nice touch, this album is just littered with shards of glass that cut through the most delicate rose. I can’t get over the overlapping of the overall musicianship with fury, harmonies and emotions and if one track perfectly captivates this it’s “Fluorescent”.

The album concludes with two wonderfully placed track side by side the ominous backdrop that runs throughout “You Should Have Gone Back” effortlessly soaks into “Hold, Be Held” and quite frankly if this final track doesn’t leave you an emotional wreck then we can’t be friends – It so subtle and just completes the album off in the best possible way.

A commanding and furious umbrella of beauty.

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They Fear Us is out on July 29th

Check out all the bands we review in 2022 on our Spotify and YouTube playlists!

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