Light Treasons make the kind of music that I typically shy away from, bombastic, vaguely emo or pop punk tinged compositions with an emphasis on big guitars and soaring vocals. You have the requisite distorted guitar bits, spacy, but restrained from anything too experimental. This is the kind of music that would likely work on something like the Warped Tour or something like that, intended for an audience that I personally feel that I’ve aged out of. Think bands like Sunny Day Real Estate or Thursday, or something along those lines.
Of course, I’m not a fan of salacious writing and none of this is to imply that the music found herein is bad, nor is it meant as a value judgment on the median age of the audience (or, for that matter, composers) of this type of material. Rather, I mean this as a qualifier for my relationship to music of this variety. Having developed relationships with people that make this type of thing over the year, I’ve certainly had the exposure, but my love of anything even remotely emo starts and ends with Rites of Spring, which isn’t really evidenced here. Still, I can recognize solid work when I hear it, and it’s apparent that Light Treasons have put in the work.
First off, the recording here is excellent, and does a great service to the band. Fortunes is an incredibly punchy record that works to the benefit of the constituent components of the music. Nothing feels buried or lost in the mix, despite the fact that the recording leans heavily on the guitar. The rhythm section is given its due, which is fortunate because they are tight and well polished. Given the dual attention to the vocals, which float on top of the mix, and the guitars, it might be easy to lose the bass and drums here as supplemental, but you never do and the album is better off for it. Experiencing this on headphones reveals a lot of fun studio tricks too, so reward yourself with some nice Easter Eggs on repeat listens by putting some on. Give special attention to the weird little moments with the vocals and the delay work employed here. It’s neat.
The song structures are relatively straight forward, quiet/loud builds that pack a post-rock punch, without the bluster. Light Treasons are at there best playing with tension, focusing on the quieter moments, as with opener The Fates or The Rebel, which make much out of the smaller bits than the bigger bits, allowing for a nice contrast. That said, the opening riff to The Emperor is far and away their most dynamic number, and the one that stuck with me the most; that opening riff is tough. Nothing stands out as a weakness here, which isn’t something I tend to pick on anyways, although I hope on a personal level that on their next recording that they take greater risks in terms of their experimentation, as that is where they shine the brightest, in pushing outside the confines of the genre. Still, they do good with what they have and build a compelling narrative in their own way.