“Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows / Everything that’s wonderful is what I feel a-when we’re together” sang Andy, as his skipped merrily home from work on a warm summer’s day. *Beep, beep* went his phone, and Andy eagerly checked his messages. Why, it was an email from DEAD PRESS!, and the latest albums to review are here! “Oh, goody!” shouted Andy with glee, excited to listen to all this wonderful new music. “What have we here? ‘Silently, I Threw Them Skyward’ by We Never Learned To Live? Hmm…” thought Andy. “I wonder what they’re like? I’d better check their bio.”
So he tap, tap, tapped on his phone, searching as fast as he could. “Here we go” he chirped, “We Never Learned To Live from Brighton, UK, creating post-rock inspired cathartic misery… oh”. His words fell into a solemn silence, the spring from his step diminished as clouds swarmed above his hanging head, mutating the blissful sunshine into a cold dismal downpour. A rendition of ‘Shadows In Hibernation’ annexed his headphones, becoming a bleak soundtrack to an even bleaker existence, as slowly he shuffled home through the cold wintery rain.
Yes, We Never Learned To Live aren’t going to feature on Kids Bop 29 anytime soon, and are more suited to autumnal afternoons in rather than summer days out, but that doesn’t mean you should write them off completely. I’m going to sound like a pretentious knob here, but it has to be said – only listen to WNLTL if you’re serious about music. ‘Silently, I Threw Them Skyward’ is not a casual listen, and it is not a time-kill for your commute. No, it’s a solid 45 minute outpouring of tortuous emotions or, as they put it so well themselves, post-rock inspired cathartic misery.
Ignoring the tone and lyrical content for a second, the music itself is genuinely stunning. The screams are unyielding and gut-wrenching, the guitar work inspired, and the rhythm of both drum and bass meticulously paced to perfection. Above anything, the mood and timing within this album is nothing short of genius, where not a single interlude or bridge overstays its welcome. When confronted with a track that exceeds the 4 minute mark, we often skip over it, but with WNLTL you’ll welcome its runtime as it allows you to bathe in their haunting yet engrossing art.
This is artisan, hand-crafted music in its finest form that challenges the listener where the reward is just sublime. If you feel you haven’t the time to listen to ‘Silently, I Threw Them Skyward’, then you should make time. This is an album that absolutely warrants your attention.
Written by Andy Roberts (@Sassensquatch)