The Envy Corps' second album is book-ended by delicate vocals underscored by soft strings and piano, presenting a misleading opening sentiment no sooner stated that it is brushed aside by a catchy pop-rock guitar riff that hits you with the true nature of Dwell. These kind of simple, sometimes arpeggio-like riffs are recurrent throughout the album giving it a feeling of memorable foot-tapping jollity. The two juxtaposing choruses of "da, da, das" alongside various guitar lines on Story Problem have a captivating sing-along quality that leaves little surprise that they chose it as their latest single.
These radio-friendly tracks are often superbly contrasted with dark and despondent lyrics - "Were my last words not quite as sobering as my epitaph?" References to great literary and historical figures Sylvia Plath and Robespierre show affinity with depression, insanity, rebellion & revolution.
These days it seems a massive statement to compare a band to Radiohead, who have at this stage achieved the status of gods, but it's not for no reason that The Envy Corps have yielded comparisons with their early material. Luke Pettipoole's vocals share Thom Yorke's tendencies to slur words and slide mid-word from one vocal range to another. Radiohead-esque distorted guitars (Party Dress) and minor melodies also indicate an influence.
Though Dwell is dominated by upbeat radio-friendly numbers, some of its most endearing moments are in its softer acoustic tracks (Before the Goldrush, Rooftops). The Envy Corps have a terrific knack of transitioning effortlessly between unobtrusive calm and blaring aggression. This comes in useful considering their propensity to build up to extravagant climaxes or, indeed, add an incongruous ending to a quiet song as in "Before The Goldrush" which charms with its understated elegance before easing through canon-style vocals to a surge of lavish electric guitar and swirling strings and then returning to the subdued acoustic realm from whence it came. Unfortunately, it is possible to get too much of a good thing and this "knack" is slightly over-used in to the point that, by the end, the songs begin to feel just a smidge formulaic.