After a ten year absence Seattle’s Acceptance make a welcome return with sophomore album ‘Colliding By Design’. Their extended hiatus behind them, this really feels like more of a reimagining rather than a continuation. Built upon strong foundations its really something to be excited about.
Opener ‘Diagram of a Simple Man’ introduces a sprawling landscape of indie tinged alt-rock, layered with shining guitars, haunting backing vocals and harmonies with the rhythm section at the very heart. Title track ‘Colliding By Design’ highlights a lyrical theme present throughout, grappling with the idea that different backgrounds and beliefs can connect as one. Jason Vena delivers a vocal performance steeped in soul and emotion. His delivery on lines like “this could only lead to one thing” really makes you believe this is an album that, for ten long years, has been an inevitability.
Recent single ‘Haunted’ shows real pop sensibility with strong melodies and arrangements that lend themselves to that of the soundtrack of an American teen drama. Strong melodies seem somewhat synonymous with every track on offer here. ‘Fire and Rain’ and ‘Goodbye’ are infectious, while ‘Come Closer’ seems like a modern imagining of an 80’s break up song. Although a lot of these songs follow a very similar structure, this is in no way a bad thing. Many of the best selling pop songs ever have been verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus, end. If the formula isn’t broken why fix it?
Acceptance have achieved something many bands that take lengthy breaks have failed to do. They haven’t settled for trying to make an album that strongly links with their debut, or recaptures a sound that once was. Instead ‘Colliding By Design’ is new and exciting and, with such a contemporary sound, Acceptance will be a name you’ll hear a lot more of in the next year and beyond.
‘Colliding By Design’ by Acceptance is released on 24th February on Rise Records.
Words by Jay Harrison (@Just_Jay_89)