Via Coma's debut LP, Figures, was released this week and is rapidly ascending the ranks of my favorite releases of the year.

It gives me a bit of personal pride writing about a band from my hometown of Lafayette, California, and it's especially fun since this is one hell of a debut.

They're amassing a ton of buzz among sites like Absolute Punk, despite not having a label, and they definitely deserve the attention.

If you're into acts like Brand New, Thrice (specifically the more experimental Thrice material, such as parts of the Alchemy Index) and Minus the Bear, you'll probably like Via Coma. The band doesn't adhere to rigid song structures, which is always something to be commended, instead opting for more ethereal, shape-shifting time signatures and melodies.

Figures is the type of record that may require repeated listens to fully appreciate, but when you do "get it", it's worth it. Songs like the opener, Aquanota, demonstrate what the band is all about: shimmery production, hauntingly resonant vocals, and a slow, deliberate pace accentuate the track, which has the same overall feel as Brand New's The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me.

The vocals on Blame elevate it to an album highlight, with the refrain to everyone that I have failed/I'm sorry/You better know that we're all to blame giving you an idea what it's all about, thematically.

Other songs, like Stitches (featuring an excellent combination of keyboards, vocals, and guitars that give the song its melancholy feel), while Iron Horse is held afloat by its affectingly fluttery synth flourish and roboticized vocals.

More than anything, though, Figures is a full album experience - each song flows into the next seamlessly, enveloping the listener in a swirl of emotions, sounds, feelings, and technical precision that pay tribute to the band's inspiration while also forging their own unique sound. It's hard to directly classify this album, and if you know anything about my musical tastes, that's about as high a compliment as I could give.

So yeah, check out Via Coma if you are in the mood for some fantastic new music, as Figures is a very impressive debut record, promising a very bright future for these guys.

Pick it up on iTunes.

Band links: Facebook/Twitter