Rescuer has always been a band I’ve kept my eyes and ears on. Last year, the band released With Time Comes the Comfort via Rise Records. In my opinion, the record was a great mix of post-hardcore and screamo, but it was highly underrated and overlooked. Since then, Rescuer parted ways with Rise Records and joined the No Sleep Records roster. The band announced that its next record, Anxiety Answering, would be released in June of 2014. The record was recorded with Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Joyce Manor, Framworks), which was the perfect fit. The members of Rescuer really stepped their game up with this record, and Jack Shirley made sure they sounded much bigger than before.
“White Noise” introduces Anxiety Answering with raw passion and aggression. Immediately, I noticed that this more straight-forward, post-hardcore sound is much more fitting for Rescuer than some of the melodic hardcore elements on the band’s previous works. “Muscle Memory” starts with an almost eerie guitar riff, soon followed by a very punchy second riff. After aggressively grasping your attention, the vocals come soaring in. The subtle, clean vocal harmonies in the chorus are very interesting – and they work extremely well. “Out of Focus” starts off sounding like an indie-rock song, but it quickly picks up when an ambient guitar riff presents itself. This track was definitely an instant favourite for me. It’s an odd blend of sounds, but it’s the ambition that makes this track so great. “Learning, Curved” sounds huge from the start. It’s one of those beautiful sounding post-hardcore songs that makes you appreciate the passion and emotion that goes into this kind of music. I really enjoyed the spoken-word outro of this song, as well as the wonderful guitars that led the song to an end.
“Relief” is one of the more aggressive songs on Anxiety Answering, and it really reminded me of some early Pianos Become the Teeth work. The song also features a pretty interesting outro that works as an interlude to the record. I would say “Leavetaking” was a big track for me upon listening to this record the very first time. It sounds so gigantic, dark and beautiful all at the same time. It also proves how talented every single member of Rescuer is, as the musicianship on this track is just insane. “Canvas” keeps things up to speed, and it’s the only song that reminded a bit of the band’s prior work. The track contains some very interesting guitar and drum work; it is very melodic. It’s the shortest song on the record, too, but it definitely makes its mark.
I guess you could say “Matrimony” is the ballad on Anxiety Answering. The song is very emotional and very different for the band. It’s one of those ambient, screamo songs that houses a wow factor. “Rural Accents” also feels really different for Rescuer. To say the least, it’s very melodic and emotional. The last track happens to be the title track, as well as the longest track on the record. “Anxiety Answering” for sure feels like the closing track on the record. In my opinion, the drums really shine through on this track, and it feels as if the title track contains a little bit of everything from the record. “Anxiety Answering” is a big ending to a big record.
Overall, Anxiety Answering is definitely a change in direction for Rescuer – but it’s the right one. Fans of bands like Touché Amoré, Frameworks, Pianos Become the Teeth and Deafheaven will really appreciate this release. It’s honestly some of the best musicianship in the entire genre. If you like raw passion, aggression and emotion, then this is your record. It’s pure, it’s honest and it’s beautiful.