March On, Comrade rose from the ashes of another local band, Ordinary Van. Usually when the lead singer and main songwriter decides he’s moving on that band usually ends up packing up and calling it a day. Occasionally someone might be brought in to replace said singer and the band continues on with a somewhat different identity. The guys left in Ordinary Van decided to stick together and forge a new identity. That identity was forged with Fort Wayne musicians John Ptak and Ben Robinson. The result is a sound less earth bound and more floating in space. You can call it post-rock if you must, but I like to call it existential post-breakup rock. Music to examine the broken pieces to and understanding why they broke. The self-titled EP from March On, Comrade seems to pull hope from the pit of ones twisted stomach. It’s a grand statement in a small package.
“Pool” opens the EP with an 80s vibe as synths and clean, echoed guitar come together to give the song a Talk Talk meets The Fixx vibe before something happens near the three minute mark and the song takes a melancholy turn. Instruments build upon simple motifs and stack upon each other like classic Sigur Ros. Dark clouds open to blinding light; what was impossible before seems like the next logical step. It’s a big and beautiful instrumental ending. “Archer” seems a more darker affair. It’s filled with quiet angst and calculated sadness. “Prism” sounds like Elbow on a good mood bender. I think Guy Garvey would approve. “Irons” has the vibe of early This Will Destroy You, had they experimented with ethereal vocals for a bit. And closer “Shade” keeps that existential longing vibe going.
March On, Comrade have a real knack for building songs piece by piece in front of our eyes. Unlike some of our post-rock heroes like Explosions in The Sky, Mogwai, This Will Destroy You, and even Sigur Ros, March On, Comrade prove on this EP they don’t need one whole album side for one song to get the point across. March On, Comrade have put together a 5-song EP that makes us excited for what’s coming next from them. It’s a beautiful, sad, and longing kind of album that’s an emotional heavy as well as a musical one.