London based quintet, Divisions, have been on their way to discovering their sound for a few years and might just have done in with only their second album.
The band came onto the scene in 2017, when they dropped their debut studio album, ‘Distance Over Time’, along with their debut single, ‘Even Now’. Their first album exhibited the group’s alternative rock sound and suggested that the group were keen to explore their sound within the genre; many of the tracks brought in digital instrumentation, for example, which gave the album quite an experimental feeling. More than this though, their debut seemed to show the band to be striving to discover their sound and featured a variety of soft and heavy sounds within it. The acoustic tracks at the end of the record, for example, saw the band exploring the softer side of their sound.
That was getting on for four years ago though and, after spending the afternoon listening to today’s release, it’s clear that those four years have been used by the band to further develop their sound. It’s often the case that bands struggle at first to truly find their niche; I could think of a hundred bands that didn’t find it until their third or fourth album. Divisions, however, seem to have it nailed on number two.
There’s clear similarities with this record and their debut; the electronic sounds remain in place and are used to give it a deep and edgy feel, while the vocal performance retains its dragged-out and powerful approach. It’s the well-practiced accuracy with which these things are showcased, however, that sets this album apart from its predecessor. There’s plenty to pick on but it’s the vocal performance that is, for me, the standout one on the album. Nowhere is it better showcased than on the track ‘Frozen Lake’, which exhibits an almost captivating display as well as an impressive vocal range.
The album’s main musical body is strong too. The band seem to have assessed the weaker points of ‘Distance Over Time’ and reinforced them with a more developed and thought through sound. The electronic beats that were at times misplaced on their debut are used here to give a number of tracks their identity; check out ‘Lessons Not Learned’ to see this action. The use of more traditional instrumentation is excellent too, with the melodic guitar lines doing an excellent job in weaving between the rhythm of the album to really give a number of tracks a sense of liveliness. There’s also piano used too, which brings a softer tone to the album’s slower moments, showing the group to be able to introduce softer tones while not straying too far away from the core sound of the album.
Overall, there’s a real sense of completeness about this record and it seems that Divisions have really found their own sound. I think the fact that the record is self-titled also suggests that the band themselves view this body of work as the one that gives them their identity. It’s a thought through, well crafted and well performed album that slots right into the modern alt-rock landscape. In short, it’s well worth a listen.