Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Garden of Mary : "The Agony in Memory"
This band from Dallas, Texas is a pleasant surprise. There a tons of hipsters digging through crates of vinyl and finding the jewels of the 80s, but few are implementing those influences in a way that is meaningful. This band does and more importantly gets where those bands were coming from. There is more to playing this music than just getting the right sound with the right reverb. All to often the emotional component is missing and that is the real jewel this band has walked away with. They are not death rock, but they are dark. Of all the labels you might want to slap on this I suppose post-punk works the best even though there is more of a new wave feel at time thanks to the emotive vocals sit back with the guitars and carry enough melodrama in their croon to convince me. The production is murky, but these guys know how to do it and the vocals don't seem like an after thought.
When things get a little more up beat on "Sleepless Nights" ...and no, it's not a cover of the King Diamond song. The synths might take away some of the sting. There is an interlude that could have been more well spent by throwing another song in here. My only complaint is that there isn't more and this is just a little taste to make me hungry for a full length, I think there is more conviction injected into the veins of "Grave Flower" which carries more weight from the aggressive, but not quite metal energy the attack the song with. The phrase that is chanted "again my soul turns to stone" is pretty effective in creating at build. They collide with shoe gaze for the dreamy "Departure of Christ" that closes this ep. The guitar tone of this song , most of the album rules pretty hard. It strikes a perfect balance between being surreal and still rocking your face.
I'm not sure many bands since Beastmilk have gotten it this right. I really look forward to hearing more from this band. Every song except for "Sleepless Nights" grabbed me from the first listen, maybe that one will grow on me , but as for right now I'm not really feeling that one as much, so I'll give this album a 9.5, it's not a bad song the others are just better.