WRITTEN BY: AnnaMarie Otor and Melissa Resurreccion
Earlier this month, indie-emo math rock band Rally Point independently released their debut album Transitional At Best. The group is local to Philadelphia and made up of Anna Gentile (singer, songwriter and guitarist), Alyssa Almeida (cello), Jesse Fogg (bass), and Packie Cronin (drums). Packing in a total of seven songs in just under 19 minutes, listeners are taken on a heartfelt journey with fun guitar riffs, great bass lines and a suave electric cello.
In an interview with No More Dysphoria, the band shared that some of the overarching themes of the album include gaining and losing control, death, and dependent relationships balanced by more upbeat topics like skating and having fun. With Gentile’s lush voice saturated with reverb and the band’s gritty sound, they portray a difficult relationship with love itself, declaring “I don’t fear change, but I fear I changed for you” in their fifth track “Shadow Puppet.”
The album opens with the instrumental track “I Bought You An Orca.” According to a post on the band’s Instagram, “Anna came up with the idea for this song when they saw a comedian perform in NOLA back in 2019. The comedian made a joke about giving gifts that are more like burdens, such as a store, an ugly hat, or an orca. The emotion the song is meant to convey is one of contrast, specifically feeling like both a gift and a burden simultaneously.” The band lets the music speak for itself, focusing more on their sound and using the lyrics as a vehicle to accentuate these introspective feelings. This trend continues throughout the album: a balance between the inherent chaos of math rock instrumentals with the occasional vocals and lyrical content.
The band takes a slight change of pace from the rest of the album with “Heavy Weight Champ.” The song shines with a delicate balance between acoustic guitar and cello. Overall, the group creates a calm and ambient atmosphere complimented by Anna Gentile’s heartfelt vocals as they sing “You pushed me away / Cause you ‘had to’ / And you oh.” Talking about the song on their Instagram, the band shared that it was “a song Anna wrote in Fall 2018 while grieving the death of a friend…the song is about processing grief, emulating feelings of being swallowed up by your own emotions and fears.”
Rally Point closes the album with a seamless transition into their minute long instrumental track “MOOM.” As if it serves as another reminder of their sound as a band, they introduce layers of the same rhythms supported by a really funky bassline. Overall, it doesn’t just feel like the end of an album, but a culmination of what they had to share and a way to keep the listener wanting more.
Transitional At Best is available for streaming on the group’s Bandcamp (with CDs and cassettes for purchase), as well as on Spotify. The band also donates over 80% of digital proceeds to the Philadelphia Community Fridges. Be sure to follow Rally Point on Instagram and Twitter to keep up with their latest endeavors!
- I Bought You An Orca
- Thank You (You’re Welcome)
- Daisy Petals
- Shadow Puppet
- Heavy Weight Champ