#aotd is Dark Horses by The Getaway Plan. This album takes an established alternative rock sound and shoots for the stars with a focus on big, epic soundscapes. A lot of this huge sound is created by the ominous but grand production which gives the guitars a lot of dramatic weight and helps the vocals feel expansive. The attention to detail in the instrumentation also does a lot to help the band nail vast sound they go for on this album. The way small guitar licks or strings linger in the background of tracks like “Baby Bird/Effigy” and “Exodus” gives the album a layered feeling and makes it a more compelling listen. The vocal performance on here is a selling point as well, the frontman has some serious presence and raw energy. On the track “F(r)iends” in particular he shows some rich vocal dynamics and passion. It is something I wish would show up more often during the album as the frontman can occasionally overdo the hushed, suspenseful vocal style to the point of it becoming redundant like on the longer tracks “Dreamer/Parallels” and “Baby Bird/Effigy”. These longer tracks are where the album loses a lot of its steam. “Dreams/Parallels” is a complete snooze-fest that drags on for what feels like forever. Though there are some great improvised sounding drums in the middle of the track, the only thing that makes it stand out is the fact that everything around it is so dull. There is an odd feature from some rapper as well which is completely unnecessary and does nothing to make the song any better. The band does nail the long song formula on the closing track “Exodus” though, an emotionally poignant track which plays on all the strengths the band displayed in the songs which preceded it. Dark Horses is an ambitious album which does occasionally overstretch itself but there are still enough stellar moments on here to make it worth getting stuck into.