Injury Reserve - By the Time I Get to Phoenix
Sep 15, 2021 (updated 6d ago)
63
'By the Time I Get to Phoenix' is Injury Reserve's sophomore album and it's guaranteed to take your breath away, but not guaranteed to give you a good time. The singles to the album were perfect, with both singles creatively capturing the effect of anxiety using outstanding, overwhelming sounds that sound like nothing I've heard before, with the album building on the picture those singles painted but failing to fully color it in. Probably the most ambitious album I've heard so far this year but I feel like the ideas weren't fully fleshed out which may be due to the passing of Injury Reserve member, Groggs, with the theme of overwhelming sounds falling flat as they just weren't overwhelming enough, having a few elements needed to create that overwhelming beat but sounding super unfinished usually like on 'Ground Zero' and 'Top Picks for You' although on the other hand, when Injury Reserve do get their beat formula right like on 'Outside' and 'Superman That', they give you a feeling you've never experienced before, sucking out your stress and feeding you with a calmness. Don't have a lot to say about the album lyrically as I haven't gone through the lyrics completely although I need to mention that the vocals of the members are often overshadowed by the high-intensity beats but I do I sense a theme of them trying to escape their anxiety, finding peace within themselves but failing to which causes them to self-destruct, blowing their mind and your mind too. Didn't want to call this a disappointment but that's what it's looking like it's going to be as some songs are so stale and can even be annoying, although I might've not enjoyed the album just because I had only three hours of sleep so like usual, I'll be taking many more listens to come up with my final score. Injury Reserve craft their own genre with 'By the Time I Get to Phoenix', using rock/hyperpop elements to come up with this powerful, pleasant sound that may not be perfected quite yet but I do expect other people to follow their path and work on this new genre as there's plenty of potential, but I'm still bummed as the album didn't clear up my mind like I thought it would, but made it much messier as I felt like they grinded my brain and put in back in my head.

Best Tracks: Bye Storm, Knees, Superman That, Outside, Postpostpartum
Worst Tracks: Footwork in a Forest Fire, Wild Wild West, Ground Zero, Smoke Don't Clear

(FULL REVIEW SOON)

Announcement: I'll be taking a break from today till October so that I can focus on a few of my tests and for my mental health! :)
62 Comments
6d ago
yeah, i agree on the sleep part
Happened to me with nurture, album went froma 68 to a 90 the next day
6d ago
i guess this jsut isnt for you, i predicted it in that message i sent you yesterday rofl. I was pretty sure this wouldnt end up being your cup of tea, but i on the contrary enjoyed this more than the singles. Like i dont think the singles are top 3 on here
6d ago
once again, its a rather detailed and slow burning album so you should likely give it another shot, if you can, as a lack of sleep can fw it.

do get some rest asap, and good luck on your tests <3 hopefully i can catch you on socials occasionally
6d ago
Haha but i kinda predicted this score. I saw either a 68 or a 90 so i came close on the first one.

my score is horrifically high but thats because i cried listening to this
6d ago
@TomBejoy lol yeah, think that the lack of sleep is affecting my score lol, but we'll see!! :)
6d ago
exactly, its very likely but its also not. I feel like the more laidback cuts here might need extra attention, because they bored me out at first too but like i said on my second listen i was on the verge of tears
6d ago
@TomBejoy I mean I really love the idea of the overwhelming, glitchy sounds but feel like it falls flat as I just sense something incomplete on almost every non-single song on the album, although maybe it was meant to sound empty to give the listeners a break but I still just wasn't a huge fan of the songs where the beat takes a break and drifts towards the background as I just love those powerful sounds that much lol.
6d ago
this ended up way less hip-hopy then i thought it would, although RYM's reaction to this thing is absolutely overwhelming.. 4.38 from 500 ratings and going upwards, which sorta makes it the highest rated album ever
6d ago
its supposed to be like field recordings or one of those aerial rock bands, like gy!be, rather than structurally perfect. there are uncommon time signatures all across it
6d ago
@TomBejoy yupp, haven't even taken a good look at the lyrics so much left for me to dissect which may lead to a higher or lower score, but again, the sleep is surely playing a significant role I guess lol! Thank you so much, I'll make sure to get some rest whenever I can lol, thank you again!! Yeah, I'll still be around to talk, probably just not writing reviews for two weeks lol
6d ago
yeah that makes a lot of sense. i see that you dont like listening to music while studying. recently ive been listening to mellow piano music and stuff while oing it but im still distracted, so i managed to put very loud music on to keep my interest
6d ago
@TomBejoy lollll you did predict my score, you messaged me saying that I probably wouldn't like it based on your listen lol
6d ago
i think this album is independent because of how disconnected it is from the rest of music. it sounds like nothing else, and thats why people are raving it
6d ago
yeah I loved it but i reckon somethings i love wont be your cup of tea and the opposite for things you love.

I'd give a score like this to sour, and youd give one like this to my aoty, so basically the things we agree on are like our seventies rofl
6d ago
by independent i mean because theres no label, which is why im listening toit on and on because these guys are getting all their funds but no promo
6d ago
@TomBejoy Yeah, you also might've enjoyed this album more because you've had a connection to Injury Reserve as a whole way before me and this album dropped, along with the passing of Groggs probably having affecting you so you might've been able to connect to the album on an emotional level better than I could! :)
6d ago
lol 2 likes and 16 comments from the outside it looks like someone is hating on you in the comment box πŸ’€πŸ’€πŸ’€
6d ago
but trust me, nothing they've released before this sounds this way, nothing. You'll probably like them more if you do a discog dive then come back because the sound shift is amazing, however the old stuff is so much more up your lane. like experimental yet accessible, which this album isnt
6d ago
@TomBejoy I wasn't really caught off-guard from how far away the album was from the core of hip-hop due to the singles teasing something totally new, but that probably played a role in surprising everyone and for why other people enjoyed it more as it's a pleasant surprise! :)
6d ago
@TomBejoy faxxx, really has a rock influence on it, your description was perfect!! :)
6d ago
yeah you should probably make an alt and upload your review to RYM because you have the most based opinion amongst all us sheep ;)
6d ago
maybe go listen to their other album because it will be ten times better to you, its on par with this imo but thats an unpopular opinion i have because that album means even more to me.
6d ago
@TomBejoy lol yeah, don't usually listen to music while studying cause I lose focus on what I'm studying quite easily lollll
6d ago
i see, try listening to piano if that helps but maybe i just have adhd and i cant study without music, on the opposite
i got into music in the first place because of that
6d ago
@TomBejoy True, I love that the album is receiving love from all around the world as it totally deserves it, even if it wasn't the most pleasant listen for me as I can hear the amount of hard work, pain, and pressure that the members were put through to come up with this album, especially with the crafting of the new sound being quite a difficult task and executed excellently even if it wasn't perfect! Unlike nothing I've heard before and not in a bad way at all so definitely deserves praise! :)
6d ago
for me with nurture i listened to it a day prior to my final test of that exam cycle, and i first thought it was overblown and loaded with filler

the next day i relistened while walking in a garden and it was soothingly maximalist, love it
6d ago
yeah i think more than pressure of creating music they faced the whole issue of dealing with grief, so thats one thing
6d ago
@TomBejoy lollll yeah, our music tastes are obviously different but at least they aren't on the opposite ends of the scale lollll and that we can still find ways to discuss music and agree on other points! :)
6d ago
this is also technically a posthumous release so it makes sense that it gets praise too. I can see fantano raving about this
6d ago
yeah they arent on opposite ends. Me and Flamingo cant talk about music because that dude likes the direct opposite of what i like, and i hate what he likes, and he hates what i like, even though we're still great friends.

the funny part is we still made music together πŸ’€πŸ’€πŸ’€πŸ€ͺ
6d ago
wait i could send you the link to that its on spotify but its like this album but even more dissonant and odd but way shorter
6d ago
@TomBejoy Working independent is hard, got to support these small groups as much as you can and try to give them as much exposure as you can as they're not going to get the same amount of promo as other people like you said, plus Injury Reserve really deserves much more attention as they're changing the music scene as a whole so it's really nice that you're spreading your love for them!! :)
6d ago
@TomBejoy lolllll that's true, someone would assume that I'm being hated for my comparatively low score lollllll
6d ago
@TomBejoy Sounds good, I'll take a listen to their discography during my AOTY break, should have some time on the weekend in between my tests!! Experimental but even more accessible is exactly what I need!! :)
6d ago
when this dropped in NZ i didnt rip it and spread the leak everywhere because that'd be theft
whereas kanye i rip his music everyday because he doesnt need th emoney πŸ’€πŸ’€πŸ’€πŸ€ͺ
6d ago
@TomBejoy Gotta give them another chance so yeah, will listen to their debut album for sure when I do get the time, maybe it'll help me love this album even more!! :)
6d ago
https://open.spotify.com/album/65P8wn6FCI6oQ4KIF27Jj9?si=oMkNY_4rTZOzgjD99DeYDg&dl_branch=1 this is my album with flamingo and murdoc66 (she played the guitar thats all)

its probably like this album with the hiphop bits but its way more odd. Like its field recordings half the way through

its on aoty too, btw
6d ago
very short too
6d ago
@TomBejoy yupp, looks like we're opposite when it comes to listening to music during studying. I'll try piano initially to help me slowly start and be able to listen to other music while studying, sounds like a good plan. I sometimes just go to SoundCloud and listen to lo fi music/slowed music or rain sounds lollll
6d ago
i agree with that, recently ive been listening to this while studying because its pleasant and i dont really fully understand wha they're saying https://open.spotify.com/album/7kpaUKFuqBb5xiHm8MGHbg?si=CIsq54XHQ0Sg3vFnRVgzww&dl_branch=1
6d ago
the first link is my album rofl
thats not exactly lo-fi but i guess itc an be as well
6d ago
sorry NERD, this is not my opinion, please proceed to delete your albumoftheyeardotorg account as an act of compliance
6d ago
@TomBejoy yupp, the mindset you're in surely does play a role when you listen to music as initially found Pooh Shiesty's music superrr boring when I was superrr sleepy but when I came back the next day, I actually had some fun lol
6d ago
@TomBejoy fax, the amount of grief they must've went through must've made it much harder to complete the project and drop it without his presence
6d ago
@TomBejoy you're right, if you take this from the perspective of a posthumous album, it's even more mind-blowing as it might just make this the most experimental posthumous album of all time lollll, plus the amount of emotion displayed adds to the atmosphere amazingly
6d ago
@TomBejoy lolllll that's hilarious, I don't think I've met a person like that quite yet, probably cause I like almost everything to some extent lol. Did you both end up enjoying the music you made together lolll? :)
6d ago
@TomBejoy lol exactly, I'd feel bad if I did that to Injury Reserve cause they really do need the money as they're independent while like you said, Kanye doesn't really neeed the money for obvious reasons lol
6d ago
@TomBejoy yupp, fifteen minutes isn't too bad, sure, I'll take a listen and let you know my thoughts!! :)
6d ago
@TomBejoy I'll make sure to listen to that too today while I'm studying and see if I can focus lolll
6d ago
pooh shiesty is one of the most overrated rappers imo, he doesnt bring anything new tbh
6d ago
i feel like grief makes it either harder or easier to make music, its easier to write music while your sad but production is super hard when you are
6d ago
apparently the reason this is so odd and jarring is because groggs apparently told them to make some weird shit the last time they called each other :(
6d ago
well yeah, we did enjoy making stuff together and are friends ofc but we still cant discuss music ROFL because we'll end up fighting
6d ago
good luck on your studies either way! <3
6d ago
and kanye ROFL he has 5 billion too much so a few cents of streaming money probably goes to his toilet pape rfund
6d ago
eat the rich, bootleg donda πŸ’€πŸ’€πŸ€ͺ
6d ago
Mate, whatever you need to do to support your own mentality and health, you go ahead and do that, and you’ve been working hard on this platform, you do deserve a break :) Also, good review, even though I don’t agree with every point you made, I think the way you expressed your opinions and points showed some validity
6d ago
yeah I just finished the album and I’m extremely underwhelmed
5d ago
@Cry I feel you fam, I’m doing my IB diploma this year, thus I’m also facing a difficult year. Good luck with everything and see you soon:))
5d ago
63 :( this is my favorite of 2021 but I saw you said it reminds you of neon shark and i agree especially on superman that
5d ago
I think the album made you feel exactly what it wanted you to feel. Some music focuses on entertainment more than enjoyability. Good luck on ur tests.
4d ago
Hope you feel better asap dude :(
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