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Pure X
Crawling Up the Stairs - ACÉPHALE
FILTER Grade: 79%

By Adam Valeiras on May 28, 2013


Pure X

Crawling Up the Stairs is an album simultaneously understated in subtlety and haunted in intimate intensity. It’s an album that may make certain listeners uncomfortable; as if, once the inconclusive final track stops at its halt, that for the past 40 minutes they had unwillingly invaded the desperate self-reflections of some universal youth—reflections penitent and joyous, elated and insecure. The record is drowned in, but not defined by, emotion. The instrumentation is minimalistic, but the sound is massive. Nate Grace trades off falsetto and tenor, his voice echoing over sparse percussion and bass, and emblazoned guitar. These instruments layer in complex, hypnotic patterns that drone in and over themselves, forged together to create less an emotional outcry than the hazy anguish of recalled emotion.

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