Artist:  The Myriad
Title:  With Arrows, With Poise
Label:  Koch Records

Unsure of the band’s future at the time of writing and recording, The Myriad set out to make the album they could be proud of for the rest of their lives. The result? The twelve evocative, cinematic tracks of With Arrows, With Poise, each one an artful story unto itself.

The percolating “Grandfather Clock” opens the disc, setting an immediate tone of highly stylized mystery and magic. Not a measure is wasted, the flat tweaking programming effective and provocative. “Get on the Plane” builds to a crescendo of emo-sound, before dropping back to a mid-track hush, finally lured back into the game by airy strings. The Myriad’s potency is difficult to describe, but each track feels like its own short reel of film, illustrious and dramatic, especially true of the sharply graceful “Forget What You Came for.” Front man Jeremy Edwardson is in all his spooky glory here, wailing through elegant keys, pulsating rhythms and a tightly patterned soundscape. His vocal steps up to a feral howl over the taut strings of “A Clean Shot,” setting an undeniable mood. Throbbing rocker “The Accident” cries out for clarity, while the darkly moody “The Holiest of Thieves” is equally compelling.
 
I’d be lying if I said that I understood much of what The Myriad is saying with With Arrows, With Poise, but I don’t need to comprehend to thoroughly enjoy the captivating “A Thousand Winters Melting.” Besides having possibly the year’s best title, this irresistible beat-driven track is joy personified. No one sets a mood like The Myriad, from the throbbing musculature of “Polar Bears and Shark Fins,” to the organized chaos of “Braver Than the Rest,” to the sinister malevolence of “Don’t Let Them See You!” But the band pulls out all the stops on “Throwing Punches,” its rich movements thick with programming while Jeremy Edwardson is particularly other-worldly.
 
If you like your music mysterious, experimental, and artfully provocative, you will fall in love with the epic sound of With Arrows, With Poise.

 

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**This review first published on May 12, 2008.