Way Through is an English duo described as anything from pastoral punk – not quite sure what that even means – to post-hardcore folk. The genre tagging goes on, and after listening to Arrow Shower, the enjoyably brash debut from Way Through, it's a bit more understandable as to why their sound isn’t as easy to pigeonhole.
Arrow Shower takes cues from The Fall and No Age’s early, more experimental material. The record bounces around from frenetic, disorientating tape loops – i.e. album opener “Ruined Acre” – to more melodic, guitar-driven tracks like “Rural Fringe.” The latter dabbles in afro-beat – it’s hard not to think of Vampire Weekend for a second or two – such are the times that we live in. It is hard not to deny the confidence that vocalist Christopher Tipton’s exudes, most impressively on “WB,” when he sings: “Now they’re throwing flowers straight in front of me” – a line that can be equally confused between praise and sympathy.
Tipton's thick accent, when intelligible, subtly focuses on political undertones and cultural inhibitions that have taken a firm grip on England throughout the duo’s life. Like the Billy Braggs and Morrisseys of the past, Arrow Shower sets focus on the direction of their country and their disapproval, met with nostalgia of what England once was. On “Handsome Knave,” a song that would hands down be a pop hit on some warped, alternate universe, Tipton sings of a suburban life where individuality is removed and replaced with expectation.
Sure, at times Arrow Shower sounds like it could have easily been pulled from an obscure 70’s post-punk bin at your local record store, but it excels in fluency and understanding of the past, present and sometimes future. Way Through uses this knowledge to create something novel and somewhat familiar all the while.