The Myriad – With Arrows, With Poise

Band: The Myriad
Album: With Arrows, With Poise
Genre: Indie/Rock
Label: Koch

1. You Waste Time Like A Grandfather Clock
2. Get On The Plane
3. Forget What You Came For
4. A Clean Shot
5. The Accident
6. The Holiest of Thieves
7. A Thousand Winters Melting
8. Polar Bears and Shark Fins
9. Throwing Punches
10. Don’t Let Them See You
11. Braver Than The Rest
12. Stuck in a Glass Elevator

The Myriad have really been making a name for themselves in the music scene. In 2007, the Seattle-based indie rockers were named MTV2s Dew Circuit Breakout Winners. Touring with bands such as mewithoutyou, Lovedrug and As Tall As Lions, it seems the band has been quite busy. Despite their crazy touring schedule, The Myriad released their sophomore album, “With Arrows, With Poise”, in May 2008. The album, which was a follow up to the typical modern rock sounds of “You Cant Trust A Ladder,” has taken The Myriad to an all new (and better) level of sound.

“With Arrows, With Poise,” begins with You Waste Time Like A Grandfather Clock. An excellent opening piece, You Waste Time Like A Grandfather Clock begins with a very indie-esque sound. The Myriad makes use of electrical instruments and a very tight hi-hat, which creates a strong groove that is hard not to get into. The vocals add a mystery-type of feel to the general mood of the tune, pushing it to “excellent opening song” status.

Being a sucker for piano, I would have to say Forget What You Came For is the best song on the album. It begins with heavy piano chords and moves into a moderate guitar and drum rock tempo during the verse. It then returns to the piano chords for the pre-chorus and combines the piano with the rest of the band during the chorus. Whew! Confusing. The vocals experiment with range a bit, which creates a rough outer edging, but in a good way. About 3 minutes in, there is an instrumental verse, which showcases The Myriad’s excellent musicianship.

The album ends with Stuck In A Glass Elevator, which musically, reminds me a little of something The Postal Service might have written. The vocals, however, are extremely high in range, which gives the song a different type of appeal. At first, the electronic instruments and slow tempo actually make this song sound a bit like something that would be played in an elevator. The Myriad takes the tune in a different direction about halfway through, adding drums and more guitar, which create a type of musical art and takes the album out on a good note.

Critically speaking, the vocals tend to sound the same on all of the songs. While this isn’t a huge issue, the limitations set in place by range might make it hard for some listeners to appreciate the lyrics. The lyrics are hard to understand in some places, which is a shame because after I pulled them up online, I really would have liked to hear them in the song, as they show a very artistic and musical aspect of The Myriad’s latest work that some people may miss.

Overall, “With Arrows, With Poise” is a good sophomore album for a band that is gaining national attention. I recommend listening to the disc a couple of times before making any judgment. If indie is your thing, you will definitely be pleased with the newer, less “standard” sound of The Myriad.

*Written By: Meaghan Allen*
GRADE: 6.5/10

James Shotwell
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