Monday, May 4, 2015
Coliseum: "Anxiety's Kiss"
On the Kentucky band's first full length for Deathwish, the band takes another step away from being a metal band Owing more to Gang of Four than any metal band on this one. The songs tend to have a jerky angular bounce to them. The riff are more streamlined. Not unlike the new Ceremony this proved to be another album that took a few listens through before I could formulate a proper opinion. The bass tone is pretty tough. On the first listen through it took me until I was half way through the album to hear that two of their biggest influences on this album are Killing Joke and New Model Army. Those are also two of my favorite bands, so many of these sounds are bound to be pleasing to my ears, unless I really begin to flip through the mental rolodex to decide who which parts remind me of and really dissect this album. So how important is originality is a question I will be asking myself this run through. Though very Killing Joke , one of the album's most aggressive moments is on "Course Correction". In his more metal moments Patterson's vocals remind me of Oderus from Gwar. The "Girl U Want" groove to "Wrong Goodbye" is one of the albums most original moments when set against the lower vocals.
They have a more New Model Army sound on "Drums' and Amplifiers" where the vocal melody sounds like it could have been lifted off the bands more recent work. This is one of the albums more punk moments. The New Model Army comparisons continue into " Dark Light of Seduction". The drumming really moves this song in way that saves it from dragging. They run the line that New Model Army does where they flirt with a more rock n roll styled form of post-punk that closer to something Bob Mould would do. The guitar of "Sharp Fangs, Pale Flesh" hits some pretty sonically sweet spot and the dark edge they skirt along has some nice emotional shading. There is a Cure like guitar tone to "Sunlight In a Snowstorm".The more burly vocals sound more Killing Joke on "Comedown". The delivery of the plaintive baritone vocals are one of the prim culprits that continues to earn the New Model Army comparisons. There are some darker moments like the beginning of "Driver at Dusk" which finds his voice dropping down into an almost Nick Cave register, the song simmers but doesn't really go anywhere and instead feels more like an interlude. What could have been one of the more sonically driven songs 'Escape Yr Skull" closes out the album. The vocals are a more relaxed baritone, almost relaxed to the point of War on Drugs, but the guitar keeps things interesting though the rest of the band feels like they are playing against where they chords want to go.
I think they are headed in the right direction. There are some cool sounds collected here. This album feels like it is a transitional phase for the band and with that comes a certain awkwardness at times. I'll go ahead and give this one a 7.5 , if you are a fan of the band and open to their evolving sound then around it up another whole point.