Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Incan Abraham - Tolerance (2014)

Sometimes a band's greatest strength is time. Some bands utilize this instinctually, some make a conscious effort to give themselves as much as necessary to let the ideas really gestate. It's not always a surefire option for crafting a masterpiece of an album but it's an excellent start and it certainly doesn't hurt. Los Angeles quartet Incan Abraham are one of those rare bands that seemed to realize early in their career that time would be their greatest ally. Maybe it's due to the fact that the core trio of Guiliano Pizzulo,Teddy Cafaro, and Spencer Mandel have known each other for virtually forever or at least since kindergarten which seems like forever ago when you're twentysomething but since putting their first ever EP out in the very beginning of 2011, the band hasn't been in any particular rush to record their debut full length, settling for small but strong releases.

Coming into their own on their Ancient Vacation EP, each subsequent release - namely their "Springhouse" 10" seemed to expand on the world pop infusion cemented in earnest on Ancient Vacation. So it was certainly unexpected when "Concorde" the first single from Incan Abraham's much anticipated full length debut Tolerance arrived anthemic and energetic as ever but a much more straightforward rock pop jam. While it didn't herald quite the shift in sound that it might've led one to expect, it did at least demonstrate that the foursome were equally comfortable with much more standard instrumentation - that what truly made the band unique wasn't their fondness for tropical percussion but their talented songcraft and musicianship. That's essentially what's on display on Tolerance. Incan Abraham are at peak performance - Pizzulo and Cafaro's vocals dexterous with a fullness that's impressive for the oft-high registers they inhabit while the band as a whole displays the type of interconnectedness earned from their five years of existence. The complex rhythms are still a prevalent force on Tolerance but used in a way that doesn't just echo the band's past releases. The album builds on the band's previously established strengths - namely their pristine vocal harmonies and knack of radiant melodies and tight-knit grooves by providing them a new context. 

I'll admit when I first listened to Tolerance, I didn't immediately jive with the album as a whole - a lingering adoration for the balanced intricacies of Ancient Vacation making the full length's subtler music moments not really register but Tolerance is an album that much like the band who made it - grows with time. Each subsequent listen reveals not only an additional layer of awe-inspiring but a new moment to fawn over - from the sparse majesty of "Desert Hold" to the a capella harmonies in  the finale of "Springhouse". Tolerance may have been a long time coming but it offers more than the occasional peek at Incan Abraham's potential. It's a solid album from a band more than capable of surpassing the benchmark. 

Listen to/buy Incan Abraham's full length debut Tolerance via White Iris Records.

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