on this album, Black Kites have a significantly different sound. the song structure and approximation mostly stays the same, but the *sound* is different. it’s still – as mentioned – much of the same though. but the formula works. the vocals are spat in your face, the guitars are gritty and heavy, the drums are all over the place, etc. it’s noisy, metallic and heavy. on “And Like It”, there are even gang vocals [thus rendering the record awesomage]. Black Kites go from this riff to that riff, this pace to that pace, fairly effortlessly. They can break it down to a droning ambient guitar section, then pick up and destroy your face. it flows extremely well. all in all this record is really good, and if you liked the previous one – you *will* like this one too. so get it. and buy it here: http://protagonistmusic.bigcartel.com/artist/black-kites – if you want. I’m sure the label and the band will appreciate you doing so.
archive for January, 2011
out of New Jersey comes Black Kites, with ex-members of The Assistant, In First Person, This Ship Will Sink, and You and I… heh. Black Kites pretty much plays ’90s hardcore/metalcore with a little bit of modern screamo. that might be a shallow way of describing them, but that’s the gist of it. Unbroken, 108, and Disembodied. they are not as crushing as Unbroken, nor as “intellectual” as 108, nor as sludgy as Disembodied. they are however something in between these bands, and other ’90s hardcore bands. this album consists of eleven songs, running at about twenty-one minutes. it’s fast and heavy. right off the bat. right up to the very end.
This Ship Will Sink’s second EP showcases an even more eccentric form of hardcore, with way more screamo influences. the metal is still there though. the core sound has not been all too much tampered with, and it’s still very much recognisable. but(!!!), different enough to *be different*. these songs are something new and fresh, unlike their previous EP. so check this out, and learn how This Ship Will Sink managed to advance their sound without abandoning it.
as I mentioned earlier, I would be getting into This Ship Will Sink here on that’s punk. so I’m pleased to announce that the day has finally come. this band featured members of In First Person and The Assistant, and consequently they also share certain stylistic traits with those bands. it’s metal-tinged, hard, fast and heavy music. metal-tinged, by the way, not metal. this is extremely technical and spastic hardcore with lots of metal and screamo. they are kind of like Phoenix Bodies and Textbook Traitors, but much more metal, and much more technical. if you liked The Assistant’s second album, this should have you feeling quite at home. it’s faster and different-sounding in more ways than one, but not entirely unfamiliar still.
as mentioned, I’ll be talking a little bit about The Assistant. they were a late ’90s/early ’00s screamo band, based in New Jersey. this band started up shortly after the disbanding of You and I, and features members of said band. the members of The Assistant in turn went on to form other bands, such as This Ship Will Sink, who I’ll – you’ve guessed it – talk about later. much like In First Person (who started out around five years after), they employ several vocalists. often at least two people are screaming at the same time. sometimes three. and with all these people screaming their guts out about walls and greed, it gets messy as all hell. the guitars are intricate and melodic like with You and I, though less heavy, and mostly faster. too say that The Assistant is a faster You and I is not a fair way to sum them up, but it’s an okay way to introduce them to you. their sound is far more complex than that though. The Assistant is a truly violent mix of gritty synth, blistering riffs, despairing screams, loud feedback, hard drumming… and the occasional blink-182-like fantastically catchy, beautiful power chord masterpiece that “Five Year Old Mentality” is. then comes the progressive instrumental track “Route 18″, in which there are no words (apart from the few you can make out, behind all the ambiance), but so much else, that it speaks for itself. this track sounds desolate, lonely and longing. in much ways it sounds like the opposite of the previous track. these shifts happen all the time, and still, this album flows together amazingly. oh, how wonderfully well this album flows together. each track is sewn together perfectly. just like each part of each track is sewn together perfectly. everything is perfect. get this.
featuring members of You and I, A Petal Fallen and The Assistant (who I’ll be getting back to, actually…), In First Person were a fairly technical screamo band, notable for having three vocalists that often sung/shouted/screamed at the same time. with vocals and guitars all over the place, In First Person have a by its very nature chaotic and explosive sound. but there’s also something extremely controlled and well-planned about these songs. In First Person have a precisely layered sound, much comparable to the You and I album, though with a heavier backbone making their sound comparable to Pg.99. this is their discography, consisting of a full length album named Lost Between Hands Held Tight, which was out on Paramnesia Records, though sold out probably years ago. in addition to this album are two splits. one with Storm the Bastille and one with the Canadian band Titan. there are a total of twelve tracks, and it clocks in at 42:22. that’s forty-two minutes of dark and heavy modern screamo/hardcore. where early/mid ’90s screamo often was extremely chaotic, even comparable to noise music at times, this modern approach to the genre is more often metallic and dark. everything from Orchid to Quiritatio reflects this. the first mentioned with grindcore sympathies, the second with their epic crescendos and sludge-tinge. In First Person are also by all means a modern “screamo” band. combining metal, hardcore and screamo into a grand sound that’s at times chaotic, but mostly it feels like it’s very thoughtfully and carefully composed. there’s just so much stuff going on in these songs, that it can hardly be chance that makes it all come together so consistently and thoroughly. In First Person plays calculated and perfected music. they are though by no means robots. in fact, they sound like they are throwing every piece of themselves into each and every song, with misanthropic lyrics. so if you like modern “screamo”, get this.
The Curtain Falls was You And I’s last release. it’s 22:02, a fairly perfect amount of time to blow everyone away. this is perhaps their least popular release. even band members reject it as shoddy, unrehearsed and badly produced.. all of which are fuel for my love for it. I am really fond of their “old stuff”, i.e. the previous post, as well, but The Curtain Falls is definitely my favourite by this band. although the old tracks had a consistent sound, and many interesting hooks, it lacked the great amount of direction and ambition presented on The Curtain Falls. it also – and this might be a bit contradicting – feels more improvised. it feels like it’s capturing a magic moment in place and time. like it doesn’t care. The Curtain Falls is a mess, so you don’t really hear layers. instead, you get what is in my opinion a perfect fusion of elements. each and every instrument are interacting with each other very closely, and very skilfully. the songs are more progressive, with focus on explosions and climaxes as opposed to the overwhelming and brutal approach found on the self titled compilation. on this album, You And I are still comparable to Indian Summer (the jazz samples no doubt help fuse this comparison), but they are in many ways very dissimilar in both sound and approach. You And I have a much more blatant screamo sound on this album. then comes the occasional stunningly infectious guitar line, that will just blow your mind. if you found anything remotely enjoyable about the previous post, this album is definitely for you. if you didn’t get it, this is probably just as well a place to get introduced to You And I, because this is You And I at their very finest. this is amazing.
if you have not heard You And I before, you are indeed in for a treat. they were an emo band, active in the late nineties. they employed rather unusual song structures, and surprisingly melodic and tuneful hooks. they basically put layers of pretty twinkly guitars and clean vocals alongside or on top of an almost metallic rhythm section, churning out heavy as fuck hardcore riffs and crushing drum patterns. on this album (which came out in 2003, and collects all of their releases sans the last one), the boldness of the riffs makes it almost difficult to distinguish the tracks, because they all have these heavy hardcore riffs. this is where the layers of melodic intricacies become helpful. they are what essentially distinguish the tracks, whilst the insanely heavy drive that surrounds it is what provides consistency. the mix of these two extremes are what constitutes You And I’s unique blend of the different elements of emo/hardcore, and their intense energy. sometimes it sounds like a screamo version of Indian Summer. other times it sounds like Sons of Abraham. with a reasonable amount of feedback, You And I’s guitarists plough their way through droning doom riffs, gentle and catchy punk rock riffs, clever noise parts, blistering – almost grindcore – thrashing, and more “typical” screamo riffs. over this you have screaming bloody murder, and the occasional clean singing. the drums somehow actually manage to keep up with all the crazy stuff the riffs manage to do, and also dictates the tempo beautifully, almost single-handedly (well, I guess double-handedly and double-footedly?) making the breakdowns. what separates You And I’s quiet parts from Indian Summer’s are that they usually have sort of upbeat drums during them. they are subdued and calmer, but not downbeat or lacking altogether, like they so often are in Indian Summer’s quietest riffs. this maybe makes You And I slightly less in touch with the polar extremes, but they still manage to create fantastic dynamics. their sound is altogether very unique, and if you add the unorthodox sound structures to the consideration, You And I are an immensely impressive as well as interesting band. so check this out! this compilation album also contains five live tracks at the end, and clocks in at ~78 minutes, so it might me a little overwhelming at first – even if it is instantly enjoyable. you should give it a few spins to digest it properly. it’s really worth it, because this band rules.
2010 ended on a high note for that’s punk, so it’s only fitting that it picks up where it left – on a sky high note. and let me just start by saying that this is really good. I might as well get it out there at once. this is *really* good. if you enjoy modern “twinkly” emo like Snowing, Footbal etc. and Joie de Vivre, you will more than likely love this. Diving take the best of both worlds and play their hearts out. instrumentally – this is probably one of the best albums I have listened to. their playful and joyful as well as technical math rock is at all times very much vivid and imaginative. if you like any of the beforehand mentioned bands or think that a more upbeat It’s Just Vanity would be kinda cool, this is definitely an album you don’t want to miss out on. another band that frequently comes to mind whilst listening to Diving are Perfect Future, and their arguably best song, “Incomplete”, in particular. anyway, you should definitely check out Diving. I for one can’t wait to hear new material from them. I’m already sold.