Wow, who knew that digressions could be so good? In case you didn’t, Tagents is the project of Unearth’s Drummer, Derek Kerswill and his partner Dave Whitman. What might one expect from an Unearth side-project, perhaps something more brutal and crushing? This album however, is the complete opposite of Unearth. Brutality is replaced with melody and where things were once crushing they lilt. Luckily though, this stuff is just plain good.
It’s important not to view new projects through the lenses of old ones. The songs on One Little Light Year have an epic, sprawling, magical sound, like post-rock mixed with pop, but it’s so much more than that.
What’s so impressive about this release is that it’s the byproduct of just two guys. Kerswill and Whitman presumably share bass duties while Whitman sings and plays guitar over Kerswill’s catchy drumming. Whitman’s voice is amazing and reminiscent of the late Jeff Buckley, just listen to those inspirational high notes at the end of track four, “Static.” Whitman’s guitar work is also effective; from his playing, you can tell that he didn’t wish for this to simply be a guitar project. His riffs fit in all the right spots and I’m happy to report that Kerswill’s drumming is well mixed too. With a project of such a light nature it’s easy for the songs to drag but Kerswill’s playing ensures that they retain a sense of movement.
If you’re a fan of music, looking for something delightfully different from the hoards of insipid pop out there grab this, you will not be disappointed.