Artist: The Fold
Album: This Too Shall Pass
Label: Tooth & Nail Records
As I stepped through the crowd to get my hands on some new Project 86 merch, I passed a table shared in part by opening act The Fold. One band member shouted out to us to check them out “Tooth & Nail’s newest band.” Another member jokingly added “and possibly their best.” I had missed their set due to a last minute decision to get some food before the show, so at the time I was not interested. Later, I would play their debut album This Too Shall Pass to find that his joke was, as I had assumed, only a joke. The Fold is not Tooth & Nail’s best, but they have offered a fine release which will be playing in my car all summer.
This CD starts off with “Gravity.” This upbeat opener showcases The Fold’s influence of bands like Acceptance and pre-dance Brandtson. The chorus is catchy, and the verse makes very nice use of the bass guitar. This song talks about how we can’t make it on our own, with that catchy chorus singing out “Just like gravity, what draws you to me. Someone I didn’t know I needed. It’s like gravity, and it’s stronger than me. I need you here.” “New City” sings of being tired of the same old town and needing a change. This is a good song, again with a catchy chorus (one of The Fold’s strongest points), but it has one line I must bring into question. “The darker the berry, the sweeter is the wine.” Now, I’m not exactly sure how this line even fits into the song, but that doesn’t really matter right now. I mean, it sounds like a cool line, but ummm… grapes aren’t berries. Oh well. “The Title Track” adds some synth to the mix, and tells the listener that pain won’t last and relief is found in God. The next notable track is “The Remnant.” My original introduction to The Fold was an earlier version of this song, which made me dismiss them almost instantly. This newer version however, is much stronger. “Rid of Me” causes a certain mid-tempo head bobbing during the chorus and sings of “letting go of all that held me down.” One of the best choruses in modern releases finds itself on “We’ve Been at This.” This song also supposedly features guest vocals from Tom Higginson of Plain White T’s, though I could not hear any noticeable singer other than The Fold’s Daniel Castady. “Surrounded” takes a slightly edgier path musically and sings of the search for truth and counting the rest as lost. The disc ends on “I Believe You” with a bridge featuring Relient K’s Matt Thiessen.
I have one major complaint for this album, and that is its length. Normally, 14 tracks would mean a really good record, but some of these are filler, and it would be a much stronger record if they had cut it down to only 10. Plus, after listening to the whole CD straight, I’m tired of their singer’s voice. He’s good, but eventually gets a little annoying. Another thing about the vocals is that there are two very definite spots where his voice goes flat or cracks or something, and I’m baffled as to how this actually made it onto an in-store record, especially one put out by Tooth & Nail, who I have grown to respect for always having quality production. The thing to keep in mind though, is that this is just a debut. This is their first album, their first stage as a band, and like all other band’s first stages, this too shall pass. So from “Backseat Drivers,” filled with catchy oh oh’s to “With You, I Sink,” filled with heart-felt lyrics, The Fold has given us a decent collection of songs. Give these catchy choruses a chance, and this could be one of your new sing-along albums.