This first impression was originally posted as a live blog for supporters in our forums on December 19th, 2016. First impressions are meant to be quick, fun, initial impressions on an album or release as I listen to it for the first time. It’s a running commentary written while listening to an album — not a review. More like a diary of thoughts. This post has been lightly edited for structure and flow.
This is an album I really never thought we would be getting. A new Acceptance album basically a decade after the last one. I’ve spent quite a while listening to this one now, maybe 6 or 8 full listens (and I’ve had some of the songs unfinished for quite a while and had played them many, many times), so I’ll try and offer a little of that context with the first listen as well. I really do think that this album is best listened to three or four times before having too many thoughts on it. I think this for a few reasons:
- I think that following up a loved album 10 years later is going to be impossible. Expectations on the band and what the listener thinks the music should be or sound like take some time to shake off and really listen to what the album itself is.
- It’s a different vibe of an album as a whole. It’s … slower? more melodic … more Coldplay, Young the Giant, Tears for Fears, Mutemath at times, some early JEW sort of stuff going on. It’s a very layered album that is thick, lush, and has a sound that sounds, to me, like the band had made three albums during the last 10 years and this is the progression that comes out at the end. Basically, there’s a big leap from what Phantoms was to this. It’s not Phantoms part 2.
- The songs find their own footing with more listens. They separate themselves and you can appreciate the small details and what the band was going for and how they really did put a lot of thought and intentionality into this album.
- I liked a lot of these songs on first listen, loved a couple, but it really did take me listening to the album as a whole multiple times for me to really sink into this release and discover how much I really do love it.
Acceptance will release their new album Colliding by Design on February 24th via Rise Records. You can find the track listing below.
Acceptance’s new album will be called Colliding by Design. They’ve posted up the artwork on Twitter and those that have pre-ordered the album can stream a new song on Pledge Music. Look for the new album next year.
Update: The new song “Diagram of a Simple Man” is now up on YouTube.
In part two of our two-part interview, guitarist Christian McAlhaney gives an inside look into the surreal return of Acceptance, what it was like writing the band’s first album back, how Phantoms holds up 10 years later, and why they have no plans of leaving again any time soon.
Acceptance are back and have spent the last year working on a new album. I recently had the chance to talk with lead singer Jason Vena about getting the band back together and what lead to that decision, the differences in the music industry from when the band first broke into the music scene to now, and what the new songs are going to sound like. We also talked about the entire process of recording this album, how the band is taking their time through the process, and why it took ten years for Jason to once again feel like he had something he wanted to say musically. Our full conversation can be found below, only lightly edited, and make sure you pre-order the band’s upcoming album if you haven’t already.