My first impressions of this quintet were encouraging:
a Swans Greed T-shirt in their press photo,
the use of theremin, and raves from almost everyone I mentioned
the band to.
"Converge? The beginning of the
end. I know how much you like the more intense shit, and how
strict you are that itís genuine when you hear it, and not
some played-out poseur stuff. They will give you faith."
Thatís a quote from an email I just got from
a close confidant whose taste I respect.
Another from my friend the reggae/prog elitist:
"Cathartic? Passionate? This almost
made my head throb, and I only heard it through your headphones
a few feet away. I thought you were on some really, really
badly-tuned radio station, then I heard the whole thing stop
and start back up. Iíll stick with BountyKiller ."
He has shitty taste anyway, and thinks the
new P. Diddy is "out there", but I really
wanted his outlook, so I made him write that criticism on
a napkin, knowing how handy it would be right now.
Bands usually sound so artificial when they
attempt "the hard stance". Fast stuff, some double
bass, "Flight Of The Bumblebee" guitars, blast beats,
screams, chaos, angstÖ Give me a fucking break! Not this group.
My initial indication that they meant every
single word, every note was when the first track ended, and
myself and everyone involved in it seemed legitimately surprised.
You get a very vigorous dosage of Jacob Bannonís
naked temper convulsion vocals that go so far beyond your
typical poised-and-ready "punk rock" scrunched-face
singing from the local garage, that youíll soon feel as though
you never even heard Equal Vision label-mates Bane
(you probably didnít and shouldnít bother). The guitars by
Kurt Ballou and Aaron Dalbek are simultaneously
metal, punk, grindcore, PIL post rock, and steeped
in Shudder To Think moodiness.
The drums? Ridiculous. Theyíre that good. Pete
Sandoval (Terrorizer) by way of Bill Bruford
(Yes) by way of Buddy Rich. Apparently Ben
Koller is brand new. Please keep this guy! Perhaps his
predecessor wasnít up to their punishing live schedule. Koller
is able to be dynamic, fast, play with finesse, and render
some of the more commonly used thrash-core beats random and
unpredictable again. Example: his use of the bell of the ride
cymbal as a glancing change up on the blast bit. People are
still getting accustomed to the very idea of even hearing
human percussion played with such swiftness, and heís adding
commas and semicolons!
Thereís also overdriven bass guitar that probably
cost Nate Newton a speaker or two, some inventive "backing"
vocals and the aforementioned clamor-wand bringing the noise
all together. Making it all Coalesce? Sorry, couldnít resist.
The sadly departed Coalesce would be proud of this.
Somehow all of Jane Doe becomes a series
of zeros and ones.
If you were to take Eye Yamatsukaís (The
Boredoms) mewling/crooning style, mix it with some hyperactive
shrieks ala The Gaia, a dash of Masonna (especially
on Phoenix In Flames), then throw in the sound of two
felines having ear-piercing intercourse in your hallway, record
it all on four tracks, mix it down to one with the whole thing
running as Ďhotí as it will go, and you have some of the messy
bits of "Concubine", the opening number by this
algebra-core band from Boston.
Iím pleased to say that this got so many spins
in my stereo that Iím lucky itís a cd. Very clever, disorienting
time swaps, extensive riffage. An actual racket swirling and
careening as the band takes turns possessing and being possessed
by their own instruments, or perhaps just locked in an album-long
mêlée with them.
A recurring battle perhaps. I hope so.
Grade : A+.
- Jason Thornberry
- Fault And Fracture
- Distance And Meaning
- Hell To Pay
- The Broken Vow
- Bitter And Then Some
- Heaven In Her Arms
- Phoenix In Flight
- Phoenix In Flames
- Jane Doe
in the webboard
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