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01. I
02. II
03. III
04. IV
05. V
06. I (Find Yourself)
07. II (Find Yourself)
08. III (Find Yourself)
09. IV (Find Yourself)
10. V (Find Yourself)

The third album from post-rock / post-hardcore heroes ATHLETICS, Who You Are Is Not Enough, is nothing short of breathtaking. A conceptual record about the quest to find oneself, the album was written as one song separated into five parts relating to love, loss and acceptance. This 10 track re-release includes the original 5 track album plus an instrumental version of each part dubbed the 'Find Yourself' tracks. As this is an album about finding yourself, we felt it was only appropriate to remove the albeit very poetic lyrics in order to give the listener an option to create his or her own experience to the music without any pre-conceived ideas. It's a powerful, unique, genre-spanning album that stands on its own with or without lyrics. Fans now have a choice on how to make the most of this beautiful album by Athletics. Sophisticated artistry with a beautiful edge. (DER-557)

                   


Reviews

"A conceptual record about the quest to find oneself, Who You Are Is Not Enough transcends genres to place these New Jersey natives into a niche of their own. Athletics' gorgeous blend of post rock, ambient, and post hardcore results in an album that is nothing short of breathtaking. Five tracks, simply titled with the roman numerals I through V, run beautifully into one another, not meant to be listened to as five individual tracks but as one unified musical experience. If it weren't for the brief pauses between each track, this album could easily be one fluid song. Each track seems to follow the pattern of starting out with soft, melodic guitars before slowly picking up and leading into the passionate vocals and eloquent lyrics found at the song's halfway point. Hard-hitting and thought-provoking, the album's lyrics are pure poetry. I, the first track, introduces us to the struggle that we hear about throughout the remainder of the album: 'Seeing this makes it easier to fall, and I can't wait for the end of it all / You're breathing softly but so much stronger on your own / No one, now, can take you from your home / Stay / All we are is sinking endlessly.' The words are first delivered softly but eventually break into screams of emotion layered over increasingly intense soundscapes, high-pitched guitars, and contrasting peaceful piano melodies. Each powerful lyric is surrounded by lengthy, intricate musical interludes, allowing the vocals to breathe and the imagination to wander. Produced by Kevin Dye of Gates and mastered by Gregory Dunn of Moving Mountains, Who You Are Is Not Enough manifests obvious indie and post rock influences from both groups. There are several points in the album, however, where comparison could be drawn just as easily to bands like Manchester Orchestra and Brand New. It is this unique blend of other influences that sets Athletics apart from their post rock predecessors, to whom they will inevitably be compared. Whether you are a fan of any of the aforementioned groups or not, Who You Are Is Not Enough is a must-listen. Lovers of any type of music will be able to appreciate the sophisticated artistry of this release. A success for Athletics, Who You Are Is Not Enough delivers a refreshing dose of post rock with a delicately dark and beautiful edge. Rating: 5/5" - Idobi

"This album is breathtaking. If you're not already riding the Athletics train, please get on at the next stop: Who You Are Is Not Enough. Stop reading this and go listen to what is so far the best album of the year..." - Oxeneers

"Athletics have carved out a sweet spot in the post-rock genre, combining soothing grooves that then build and apex into hurricane force dynamics, and the new album plays every strength of the band. This is an album that makes you question how you live, how you love, and what truly holds meaning in life. For that reason I give it the highest praise possible. Formulated as a semi-concept album, Who You Are Is Not Enough follows a stylistic theme of a single song, divided into 5 'movements' covering love, loss, and acceptance. Mixed and Mastered by Moving Mountains own Gregory Dunn (as well as their previous album 'Why Aren't I Home?') 'Who You Are Is Not Enough' overflows with rich soundscapes that flow together seamlessly. Athletics smother every millisecond of the music with emotion and it bears the weight of the meaning - the loss of a friend. Singer Garrett Yaeger's vocals are sparse throughout the album, but when you hear him you can tell he's bearing everything he has from the first track to the last. The standout track may be track III in which Garrett strains the last line of the lyrics: 'I read your note, and I know just what you want to hear. It hurts less over time, but I'm not getting stronger. I just leave pieces behind. I can only fall so many times before I'm broke, unrecognizable. Now all I've left to give is the piece that still remains, and you bring the pieces back. Love, it only reconstructs the pain. As time fails to elapse, I'm finding you were everything to me. Now my future and my past are ending tragically the same.' On the final track V Garrett sings about starting over, to begin again. Although the lyrics carry heavy meaning, this album does not put you into one of those 'feel sorry for myself' moods. I found that it opens my eyes to try to live with meaning, to hold your head up and make a difference in someone's life. Each time I listen to it I feel more energized about my own life and not to take others for granted. Life is fragile and we should lead ours with as much meaning as possible. Rating: 10 / 10." - AmpKicker

"Remarkable. The entire record, a 30-minute work, is one song divided into five parts that work off of a central theme, introduced in the first part. It's incredible, and takes the style of a classical theme and variations as opposed to separate parts of an album that flow into one giant collection. Who You Are Is Not Enough breathes, lives, and exudes subtle shifts between the parts that dynamically move the ambiance of each song, and in succeeding, the listener as well. Who You Are Is Not Enough sways the listener over by not only lyrics, but affection stacked with lyrics, and the effect is noticeably swaying, and tends to grasp the listener long after the album is over and done with. The album takes more to the style of a theme and variation than truly different tracks. Upon noticing the simplistic names for the tracks (i.e. "I," "II," etc.), one will notice that they are indeed parts of the same song. This idea, once stumbled upon, points to a whole new way to interpret the album. Not only does the album cause a fluidly changing whirl of emotions inside the listener, but it also instigates an intimate analysis of why the slightly-different parts cause an entire affection alteration. This analysis incites a further play-through of the album, and a closer familiarity, perhaps becoming a cycle, but nonetheless placing the album close to the listener's heart. Who You Are Is Not Enough is an entire emotional palette wrapped inside a small, half-hour release. The writing is excellent, as is the lyricism, and the album really doesn't have any competitors, being so unbelievably unique. That being said, I feel that the album could easily be accepted by people of many varying musical tastes, since it doesn't simply lie in the realm of post-rock, nor ambient, nor any other single genre. It transcends genre, and quite possibly description - I honestly doubt my ability to do this album the justice it deserves by describing it in words. Simply listen, dear reader, and be hypnotized as I was by the magic of Athletic's beautiful album. Rating: A-" - Muzik Dizcovery

"One of Deep Elm Record's many great bands, Athletics are a 5-piece alternative-indie/post-rock band from Asbury Park, NJ. Their follow-up effort to Why Aren't I Home? the new album is a half hour of music spanning 5 tracks. Athletics brings to the table a mix of post-rock musical elements with indie style clean vocals and nu-metal/post-hardcore esque screams. The album begins with a highly ambient intro as the first track begins to take shape. Guitar tones are vibrant and moody and the vocals further add to the somber vibe. The track kicks it into overdrive halfway through as guitars rip through the mix in perfect rhythm with the drums. A beautiful clean guitar plays amidst the static in the left channel while a second guitar pierces through the right channel before fading away as the track edges back down to a close. The mixing starts to shine in the second track, a nearly 9 minute behemoth that opens as a bass heavy low-lying guitar layer sets the ground work for a clean guitar layer and prominent yet patient drums that sound open and airy. I feel like a lot of post-rock releases miss the mark with a lack of deep bass, which is why I was overjoyed when the third track opened again with a bassy layer underneath its vocals. Deep bass just really seems to bring out the best in surrounding instruments, especially drums, much like how a little bit of spice sets off the flavor of a steak. The wide open sound staging on the album deserves credit for the flurry of layered guitars really shining through in its starring role when the vocals disappear. The album makes an absolutely perfect transition to the next track, a testament to the great synergy the 5 tracks possess with one another. Track IV delves into a much more minimal ambient track in comparison with the rest of the album and the vocals are the softest on the EP. The album comes to an end with a dark sounding piano and singing with a haunting echo effect. This is the type of genre spanning work that can only help the likes of the post-rock genre. That exposure will in tune help the genre grow. And that my friends is something that this crazy music industry desperately needs." - Post Rockstar

"Athletics are an ambient/indie/post-rock band from New Jersey who plays some very interesting and emotive styles of airy drafts. With the release of Who You Are Is Not Enough, we are taken through some personal and relatable lyrics that touch on feelings of inadequacy and contempt. 'I am not enough. I'm not the demons in your lungs. And I am not enough to make amends with life or love. All that was done, you have failed to capture us' are some of the common lyrical passages you will come across which fits the music cohesively. Persistent with its theme, the music is soft and fits mellow moods quite well. At times you'll hear the common post-rock-esque tremolos that build over a backdrop of soothing minimalistic synths and occasional electronic reverse effects. The vocals fit very well and the use of soft sung moments only adds to the emotions and whether the lyrics touch you or not, it's hard to deny the important role they play in builds and crescendos. As in the intro track I, the vocalist can be heard blending his voice from soft to a slight yell/scream that parallels the build as distorted guitars jump in after ambient layers progress. The relatively short runtime of 30 minutes is well fitted as certain musical aspects tend to reach sustainable heights without any other track attempting to supersede the other. The runtime allows for the album to be more cohesive, rather than drawn out track after tracks that goes nowhere, which I thought was a smart choice for this type of music. The longest track II takes Who You Are is Not Enough the furthest as the middle part seems like it's going to end, but, well placed soft-melodic guitar licks are re-introduced which allow for a type of progressive nature that lances the silence into a perfect canvas. This allows the vocals and bass guitar to slowly build up to another opportunity to fully impress the choral words of 'Speak spoken love, offer nothing from your heart.' These common slow builds are ever present throughout Who You Are is Not Enough. They feel like soft waves that one would feel while floating in a calm ocean with occasional stronger swells that break the monotony. Track IV is a good example of this wavering formula but it also adds a bit of a tender feel with staccato guitar plucks that at the same time, feel like it could be raining above your head as your floating, buoyant, in a sea of emotions. The closer V follows the same suite but fully uses a piano that favors the reducing-classical side and fits the whole story together as you're concluding with the words 'Time may heal the deepest wounds, but a severed limb is gone for good. My love died with you. I should have died with you. I would have died for you.' This ending fully solidifies that this album is about the loss of a loved one which I'm sure we can all relate to in one way or another. Who You Are Is Not Enough never tries to be over the top or push musical passages further than it needs to. Rather, the mood and feel speaks for itself and the emotions are where this album truly succeeds. Athletics will be known for a band that truly is not afraid to express their deepest inner thoughts as well as moving musical ideas that fit their destinations perfectly." - Sputnik Music

"I strongly suggest you give 'Who You Are Is Not Enough' a listen. As far as post rock goes, this album does not disappoint; each song is layered with smooth transitions, distant, wailing guitars, and somber vocals. Athletics' newest record is perhaps their best, moving into a realm of subdued, introspective lyrics, and bright, clear melodies. Album opener, 'I' (each song is named I, II, III, IV, & V), begins with dual layered guitars, plucking a simple melody for nearly 2 and a half minutes, growing louder and more persistent with time. Suddenly a melancholic guitar verse falls into place, taking the stage, and vocalist Garrett Yaeger somberly begins his narrative, 'Seeing this makes it easy, easier to fall, and I can't wait for the end of it all.' I is perhaps the most aggressive song on the album, quickly building up with the scream of Yaeger and sharply strummed, distorted chords. The song soon catches its own form of rhythm, bouncing between staccato beats and delayed guitar solos. 'II' begins with a muted guitar strum, and actually sounds like it's still song 'I.' Carrying on in the same vein, reflective guitar melodies take the stage. The song builds more quickly than 'I,' with the pitter patter of a snare drum roll accompanying guitars. 'II' eventually builds into a beautiful, soaring chorus, only to be replaced by dirty, distorted guitar sludging alongside climactic drums. 'II' as a song seems to end, however, when it's only half over, a completely new movement begins and intricate, delayed guitar melodies quietly build into a slow jam, as Yaeger muses 'But it was hard for you / And every simple task, I noticed it was hard for you / I should have released my grasp, but it was hard for me too.' Delicate guitar plucking leads the song into a sudden chord progression, and vocal outro by Yaeger. 'III' sounds more nostalgic than the rest of the record, never quite building up to much more than guitar solos and downbeat drum patterns. 'III' is the slowest of the songs, yet still manages to be interesting as it's accompanied by the airy crooning of Yaeger & Co. in gang vocal format. 'IV' is very similar to 'II,' in that is has climactic choruses with intricate guitar solos, yet it also makes its own name in the record by being more cut and dry, as Yaeger's voice is perhaps the most clear on the entire record, 'And now I think / my faith is weakening.' Final tack 'V,' is my personal favorite. It's a distinct movement into uncharted territory for the band, relying only on a simple piano progression. The song is somewhat muted and reverbed, as Yaeger painstakingly notes, 'Time may heal the deepest wounds, but a severed limb is gone for good. My love died with you. I should have died with you. I would have died for you.' The song ends gently, leaving the listener with a distinct sense of melancholy and somber satisfaction. The record was long and many feels were felt; the end has arrived and now we are free to be sad just as the band intended." - Absolute Punk

"Athletics most acknowledged release Who You Are Is Not Enough bridges and binds post-hardcore with the sensibilities of ambient-rock in a neatly organized manner, successfully capturing the best of both worlds. Who You Are Is Not Enough was recorded by Kevin Dye (Gates) and mixed/ mastered by Greg Dunn (Moving Mountains). The current re-released version of the album contains the five original tracks plus an instrumental mix of each - collectively titled 'Find Yourself.' In it's theme Who You Are Is Not Enough is a conceptual record containing one song divided into five movements (titled with roman numbers, a really cool niche in my honest opinion). This specific arrangement is well justified by the way it's executed. These five sequences are nicely bridged and transitioned from one to the next compassing similar themes and emotions. The album creates a cohesive feel even when listening to the instrumental versions alone. In a way, the instrumental settings of these tracks let the listener experience the depth of this record without preconceived ideas, abling the listeners to figure out the story for themselves. Guitars on this album are nicely layered. At one point being really gigantic and loud and at another point using sparse ambient nuances to build a mesmerizing musical texture with delayed melodies and rhythmic motives. Rhythm section on the other hand plays everything out really clean and clear. Combining straightforward and concrete drum beats (dynamically quite varied) with minimalistic yet powerful and well driven bass lines, giving the melodic progression of the album a leg to stand on. The overall big and roomy sound of the album accompanies the lyrical content really well by giving it a distant feel, stressing the distance between who you are and who you perhaps had hoped to be. Urging to find oneself in a world of uncertainty is definitely fitting and justified continuation for Who You Are Is Not Enough." - Sound And Beyond

"The Deep Elm catalog has always been a gold mine for me. Of course when you think of the famous label, you automatically think of The Appleseed Cast or The Emo Diaries compilation series. You should know that John Szuch and his team are still in business, refusing to be purchased by a larger conglomerate. Deep Elm recently released Who You Are Is Not Enough, the third album by Athletics. The level of introspection this album has exceeded new limits. The latest slab from the post-rock Jersey quintet is separated into two parts: the first with words and a second identical part without words to enable us to develop our own meaning for the songs. These five fine compositions elevate you to a level where awareness is inevitable and serenity supersedes bitterness. A striking, emotional and unique listen." - Vakarme

"Deep Elm took it upon themselves to rerelease the third album by post-rockers Athletics adding versions of the songs without vocals in order to give the listener an option to create his or her own experience without any pre-conceived ideas. There is a lot to be said for this album and even though I prefer the version with the vocals more, the songs are still left standing without them. That's because Athletics are pretty friggin' great at writing tunes that gently trickle along with beautiful and warm guitar lines before building up to a climax. Even when they slow things down to just piano and vocals in 'V', they pull it off effortlessly and one the last melancholy-inducing note rings out, it just leaves you wanting more [8 / 10]." - Punk Rock Theory