Wednesday, July 1, 2015
There is a alot going on with this Florida band. The first thing that really catches your ear is the variety of vocals . At first the harsher vocals are some what black metal and then more of a hard core bark, then they employ a very different take on using clean vocals they come abruptly and it doesn't sound like they are struggling to sing the cleaner section as the voice is very fluid and harmonized like this is some indie rock band and that s how they also sing. Musically they are more firmly post- hard-core. There are some blast best sections, but aside from the vocals they never convince me that black metal is in their blood. The song is tied together in a very angular manner that creates their own sound. However when I was not staring at their Bandcamp page and watching the time countdown I found myself on the third song meaning that all their songs just run together and do not fully distinguish themselves from one another."Bedroom Eyes" pounds it self out with a staccato riff and takes a more emo like dash into harder edged indie rock, before going into a pseudo black metal section. I like the vocal line "confusing lust with love" that pops up in the song. "Dirge" is not much of a dirge at all as it breaks off into fast paced death. While their Bandcamp page lists one vocalist there are some over lapping layers of vocals that I would have to see pulled off live. It's the moments on "Dirge" that are not metal that are more interesting because as metal goes it sounds like everyone else on this one. They finally make a clean break into "Sheep" which stands alone on it's own two feet as a song. This is more shriek filled hard core influenced metal until the clean vocals come.
By now the clean vocals lose their luster as they are doing the same thing like a more apathetic version of Coheed and Cambria, without the Geddy Lee in them. Timing wise they take interesting jerks back and forth. I don't hear any shoe gaze yet, but more screamo/emo sections.I had to go back and listen to see where this song transitions into the next. Going you can hear its a quick punch that starts "Rust' with a death metal twist leading into a more blasting section. If the clean vocals chose different melodies it might help the songs distinguish themselves more. There is a spoken section that is buried into a driving droning riff. "Vermin" also gets the benefit of having a clean break to set it apart. More death metal crops up.The vocal line "become one with dirt, decay" is paced in a different cadence than some of the other clean vocals but I think its the tonality that need to switch , moving in either direction of his register, lower or higher would be more interesting, unless this is the only way he can sing and has more of a register when it comes to harsh vocals. The hard core vocals find his vocals cracking so this might be the case.
Going back once more I found that "Hiss" starts with a cleaner guitar and winds back and forth from more scathing to their post- hard core brand of emo. I start to lose interest even though some of the guitar tones are kinda cool, the first guitar that sounds somewhat shoe-gaze comes in here, but it's a far cry from Nothing , much less My Bloody Valentine. They end the album on a more Deafheaven note on "Sleepyhead". I have heard enough bands paying homage to those guys now that the band wagon is much less novel to me. Finally the vocals do something different with his voice. Its not drastic, but enough to give them clean vocals more purpose and make this one of the strongest songs on the album. Sure they end with another Post-rock like guitar tone, but I would not say this band is shoe gaze in any way. I think shoe gaze might become the catch phrase to bands that don't want to cop to all the Circa Survive on their iPods. These guys have their moments, I would catch them if they came through town and this album is worth a listen, it's the Circa Survival moments that make this a less than urgent listen for me, but if you are into post- Sunny Day emo and Deafheaven or Hardcore then round this up from the 8.5 I'm giving it to a 9.