Embarking on a quest to find exactly what it is you´re looking for in this life isn´t a mantra for kicks. For Endless Hallway, it´s a matter of spiritual survival and living up to your creative expectations. The Los Angeles-based five-piece, spearheaded by longtime friends Ryan Jackson (vocals) and Jono Evans (guitar), embraces a creative environment that´s uniquely expressive and raw. Their debut LP, Autonomy Games, harks upon the craft of music as visual art, while providing a distinct sonic sphere for each listener to return to.
Produced by Noah Shain (Jordan Zevon, Orson, Nico Vega) and recorded between L.A. and El Paso, Texas, Endless Hallway honed in their searing rock sound found on their 2007 demo for a wide-ranging palate of emotionally-charged epics. Getting there was no easy feat for them, however. "I think the recording process was sort of like when you´re first learning to swim," Jackson explains. "When you first hit the water, you exert force every way around you. We had a bunch of great songs ready to go, yet we definitely showed that naivetÃ©. We managed to get our heads together in the end, to focus our energy, and the songs became what they needed to be."
With Joe Mullen (drums), Evan McCarthy (bass), and Michael Tye (guitar) completing the band´s line-up, Autonomy Games juxtaposes structure with fantasy, while also reflecting upon an articulate array of influences including Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, and Japanese composers Nobuo Uematsu and Yasonuri Mitsuda. "For this record, we tried to write each song as a unique location within one world, with the album representing that world. Hopefully that concept gets through and people find places they´ll want to return to" says Jackson.
From the explosive guitar-driven elasticity of album opener "Autonomy Barrier" and the glam-rock slickness of "Cell" and "Solvency" to the more spectral quietude of "Remora", Autonomy Games´ massive soundscapes soar above the basics to reach for the real blood and guts, and that real primitiveness that rock´s been without for too long.
"We´re really considerate of the album as an art form because all of our favorite albums really work as albums that allow you to create your own narrative," Jackson explains. "There´s no way to dictate linear narratives, so we´re inviting people to create that for themselves."
Lose yourself in the jubilant post-hardcore pop of "Gamma," which is loaded in Mullen´s propulsive drums and Evan´s and Tye´s fiery riffage. Jackson´s wild lyrical imagination thrives here, for he says it´s a moment about relief, a song that comes after a lot of trauma with "Solvency" and "Toppled Dynamo." "It´s sort of the third act of the movie that moves into credits at the end of the film."
With unquestionable ambition and the brawn to back it up, Endless Hallway have tapped into that fiber of your being that´s been aching for something truly authentic -- they´ve been aching for it, too. They´ve created a different sound track to a different life.