The Most Sad - … And We Spoke Of Disorder EP Review
The Most Sad are a 4-piece from Concord, California. Playing with ingredients of modern hardcore (especially wave, pioneered by melodic hardcore bands that basically abandon most strict hardcore elements) and the more traditional screamo. This sort of release has dominated the Tiny Talk Reviews feed for the past time, and before we take on some of the various genres, we’re going to tackle this EP mysteriously named … And We Spoke Of Disorder.
The first track, Until You Remember, is sure to throw the most hardened screamo veteran off his/her guard with its quick and somewhat violent introductive few seconds. The structure breaks down into a stricter two step beat pattern, and this is where The Most Sad show their true colors. A lot like most other bands much influenced by the vast uprising of melodic hardcore, we have a mix of the bitter and the sweet. Softly swelling chords in a minor scale, mixed with drums that leave a lot of room for the very important guitar work.
A surprising element in this otherwise somewhat known-of sound is the use alternating vocals. Two of the bands members share vocal duties and this comes very clear when, in most moments of this EP, you can hear the painful screams coming from both left and right consequently. I enjoyed this sort of niche a lot more than I think I should have, because I feel this could easily become repetetive if used without a great amount of caution. Speaking of vocals, on track two there’s some sort of half-assed attempt at actual singing. I don’t want to be too harsh but it sounds excrutiating to me. Don’t get me wrong, “false” singing (particularily in the emo tree of genres) can prove to be very effectful quite often. But it just doesn’t do anything positive for me here.
On to track three, called Sorry, Not Sorry, we get a greatly justified picture of these cali dudes songwriting skills. The vocals are a bunch calmer on the later half of this track, and I must add that it’s a very soothing tune overall. After a few listens, I come to decide that it is my favorite. Much like neighbours (in both genre and geography) Southtowne Lanes, it’s a track I could find myself recommending to fans of this style of music. The rest of the tracks could fit quite well for a fan of bands like Loma Prieta, well, at least the more violent segments.
That concludes it for this EP. Much like a rollercoaster of emotion, we get both the up - and the downsides, and unfortunately I feel like they could have done with some re arranging in the more-part of these tracks. PS. One of the singers accents sounds a lot like Anthony Fantanos alter ego Cal Chuchesta. And not in a bad way.
Tiny Talk Reviews gives this album an even 7/10.
1. Until You Remember
3. Sorry, Not Sorry
5. Pointing Fingers
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Southtowne Lanes / Place Called Home Split Review
October 2012, I received a review submission by a dude called James. The track he wanted reviewed was called A Table And Glass, by his screamo band Southtowne Lanes. I enjoyed it quite a lot and gave it 9 out of 10 points total, a result that stands unbeated to this day. They’ve turned out to be one of those smaller bands one puts a lot of faith in, at least for Tiny Talk Reviews. The same track later ended up on this five track split between Southtowne Lanes andPlace Called Home, which I am now going to review.
The first half of the two-way split is by Southtowne Lanes, a band that doesn’t need much of an introduction on Tiny Talk Reviews. They play a great mixture of screamo, emo and pop punk that creates a very fragile, dull atmosphere, without compromising on memorability and catchiness. It’s interesting, it’s somewhat new and it’s, well, good. The first song on the split is called A Table And Glass, a golden track. Any other description would be an understatement.
A remaining five and a half minutes by the band belongs to the song Luxury Of Lies, a quite extensive track with a considerable amount of twists and turns in its overall sound and structure. It starts off with a slow, kind of shady beat that quickly explodes into something more appropriate to their otherwise screamo-based sound. The rest of the track goes in and out of these two themes, the one more rockish and the other a bit more dissonant and saddening. Seems somewhat like a B-side, a track I could imagine the band loves to jam out to. It does this without murdering the mood, but could have been executed more appropriately.
Moving on to Place Called Home's spot on this split, starting of with a track called 374 Miles. At first glance, the sound is not much different to the sound of Southtowne Lanes, except it’s a wee bit more hardcore. Sound a bit like a mixture between melodic hardcore bands like Touché Amoré, Goodtime Boys, and of course screamo music in general, to be perfectly honest. I could even compare parts of this first track to Senses Fail's debut called From The Depths Of Dreams.
The bands second track on the split, I Don’t Want To Live On This Planet Anymore, is a great deal calmer. It’s actually sort of ambient at times. Starting out with a lengthy sample from The Life Aquatic, a movie that in my opinion fits the track quite well. A very beautiful, emotionally punishing track, that could also be compared to various “wave” artists, especially La Dispute. It’s very tasteful and doesn’t get too cheesy (pun intended, I just had pizza), and it’s very now. Great stuff. The last track continues in the same theme as the 374 Miles, and has some interesting melodic hardcore-ish riffs.
And that settles it for this split, I like it a lot. It plainly deserves attention, both bands do, and they shouldn’t settle for less. Look, not to talk shit on a label, but this deserves something much greater than Driftwood Records, who arguably don’t put out anything notable at all. Tiny Talk Reviews believes in Southtowne Lanes and Place Called Home. Count on their uprising.
Tiny Talk Reviews gives this EP a stable 9/10.
1. A Table And Glass (by Southtowne Lanes)
2. Luxury Of Lies (by Southtowne Lanes)
3. 374 Miles (by Place Called Home)
4. I Don’t Want To Live On This Planet Anymore (by Place Called Home)
5. Bath School Massacre (by Place Called Home)
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Top 10 Records of 2012
Here it goes, guys! In all honesty, 2012 wasn’t all that great. Last year saw some unbeatable releases, and this year inevitably had to compete to a great year. Anyhow, here we stand, with a bunch of undeniably great records that deserve some spotlight!
1. Sigur Rós – Valtari (Post-Rock/Ambient)
No top 10 album list of the year is complete without this beautiful, yet painful and simplistic, highly anticipated Sigur Rós record.
Top three tracks: Varúð, Varðeldur and Fjögur Píanó
2. Xibalba – Hasta La Muerte (Hardcore)
Heavyweight, grind-inspired hardcore, delivered in a punishing beatdown madness.
Top three tracks: No Serenity, Hasta La Muerte and Cold
3. No Omega – Metropolis (Hardcore)
Great debut album by a great couple of guys, this paves a golden path for what’s to come.
Top three tracks: Breathe, Heartless and Cold and Eight Year Dream
4. We Came Out Like Tigers – Agelessness & Lack (Blackened Screamo)
Blackened both lyrically and musically, this otherwise screamo-based release is a refreshing breath of air into the genre
Top three tracks: Sous Les Paves La Plage, Remember Why You Are and Take Pleasure in the Processes
5. Death Grips – The Money Store (Experimental Rap)
Rap has rarely been this violent and thought-provoking at once, with hauntingly catchy hooks the group delivers what’s probably the most generationally definitive album of the decade.
Top three tracks: Hustle Bones, Punk Weight and System Blower
6. Architects - Daybreaker (Metalcore)
Who would have thought that a metalcore record would make it way up there as late as 2012? With a surprisingly emotional, interesting and feely record, these guys beat their crappy last release by far.
Top three tracks: These Colours Don’t Run, Outsider Heart and Even If You Win, You’re Still a Rat
7. Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind (Metallic Hardcore)
Another compulsory record of 2012’s top record list, Converge will never let us down with their perfect mix of metal riffage and hardcore violence.
Top three tracks: Aimless Arrow, Empty On the Inside and All We Love We Leave Behind
8. War From A Harlots Mouth – Voyeur (Progressive Deathcore)
Whether they’re within the boundaries of the dead genre deathcore anymore matters not; this record, both dark and technically brilliant, is a great one.
Top three tracks: Vertigo, Krycek and Scocophobia
9. Milo – Milo Takes Baths (Rap/Spoken Word)
This collaboration between nerdcore rapper Milo and instrumental glittery beat producers Baths shines bright with devastating honesty and beauty that warms even the coldest of nerd-hearts.
Top three tracks: The Confrontation at Khazad-Dûm, The Ballad of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy and Atlas Flushed
10. The Chariot – One Wing (Post-Hardcore)
Inspiring and spiritually conscious post-hardcore delivered in a grandeur of experimentality that gives me goose-bumps no matter how many times I listen to it.
Top three tracks: Forget, First and Cheek
Seasonal winter playlist
While you wait for the Top 10 albums list for 2012, here’s a playlist of christmasy winter albums!
Cloud Kicker - Fade
Devil Sold His Soul - Empire of Light
Sigur Rós - Valtari
August Burns Red - Sleddin’ Hill (This wasbound to be on the playlist)
Woods Of Desolation - Torn Beyond Reason
Kate Bush - Hounds Of Love
Yersinia - Fraktaler
Der Weg Einer Freiheit - Self Titled
Goodtime Boys - What’s Left To Let Go
Vildhjarta - Måsstaden
11 Dec 2012 @ 01:10PM /
TAGGED AS: other
Keepsafe - Worth Living EP Review
Keepsafe is a melodic hardcore/metalcore band from the official capital (but prehaps not musical capital) of England; London. I honestly haven’t seen or heard much particularly great coming out of this city, considering its, otherwise large, size and impact in the other corners of the cultural world. This goes with a few exceptions, of course, and let’s all hope Keepsafe is one of those rare ‘uns. Before we set this review off, I would like to repeat my concern on the EP length issue. This is another one of those oddly shaped, really lengthy EP’s, going on seven songs long. But I’m just gonna disregard that (this time) to maintain a fulfilling context.
The first two songs on this EP are impressively out there, so to speak. I’m going to let this statement remain neutral for the time being, and all I’m gonna say is; it really is outgoing. Thick, chunky down-tuned guitars and thumping drums, backed by desperate screams that display an extremely capable set of vocal cords. Unexpectedly, for a self-proclaimed Melodic Hardcore-debut, there are a considerable amount of metalcore-esque breakdowns on these first few songs. I could imagine something like this being on a Being As An Ocean or Liferuiner release, if said bands were more influenced by UK Melo-hardcore bands the likes of Dead Swans or More Than Life. Do we see uniqueness? Let’s find out, yes?
Track four is especially notable on this EP, which relates back to the intro track of the release, and goes on into track five. An interesting reference-point to tie the rest of the debut up, and quite an emotionally heavy one to be honest. Some devastatingly honest lyrics, accompanied by a twinkly piano downbeat instrumental. Again, displaying the abilities of the vocalist literally choking on the words "I’ll never forgive myself for this." on the track called Recovery.
The next track on the album, Sore Eyes, is quite the disenchanting one, considering the heart breaker of a soundscape we just came out of. The song we’re on is a bit of a black sheep in comparison to the rest of the tracks, as it is more strong and reviving than an otherwise dull set of tracks. This same sense of depression is revived on to the last track, oddly titled Tic Tac Teeth, and then this very interesting game of genre play comes to an end.
I feel left curious to the intentions of the bands members after having listened through it a couple of times. Unfortunately, I cannot see the need for this type of input into the modern metalcore and melodic hardcore scene, at least for the moment being. One particular track stands out, being track five, but the rest really leave a big question mark above my head. I realize that I might have felt unmoved by some of these tracks, and left with a big craving for more of, well, everything. Track five, as mentioned, knocks this up (from an otherwise quite indifferent couple of songs) to a final score of -
Tiny Talk Reviews gives this EP a wiggly 7/10. (PS. They need a drummer; HIT EM UP!)
2. Still Counting
3. Ends at the Nape
6. Sore Eyes
7. Tic Tac Teeth
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Up River - Hardships EP Review
The concept of Tiny Talk Reviews was, from the beginning, about giving some extra attention to bands that aren’t well-established in their scene. UK hardcore band Up Rivermight have been a band to fall under the category of “Well-established in the Hardcore scene”, but in this case, the band itself submitted this EP for reviewing. Thus making it passable, disregarding the size of the band and the fact that they’re signed. Another thing that needs covering before setting this review off, is the labeling of the material as an ‘EP’. It’s a bit short (less than seven minutes long) to be a traditional sized EP. Who really cares? No one. Let’s go.
Blasting off with the classic hardcore two-step drum pattern, accompanied by a Modern Life Is War-esque riff, we go swinging off into a melodic hardcore rhythm of dullness. We might actually be better off comparing this sound to another UK band known as Goodtime Boys, especially considering vocalist Harry’s distinctively British dialect. This ingredient honestly spices the harsh hardcore style vocals up a bit, with most bands trying to sound as standard american as possible not to stick out of the crowd too much.
On track two, called October Present we face a slightly cheerier sound, at least for the first few seconds. A striking resemblance to now defunct Australian band Break Even's 'The Bright Side' days, surprisingly enough. The sun is quickly clouded and we venture onto the rainy forest road once again as the resonant riffing is presented another time around. To sum things up with a quote from the very same song, the feel of this EP might be described such as; "I was told that death is more perfect than life. I guess I’m the one, who turned their backs and lost sight, of all the things I wish I’d done, and all those roads I roamed to chase that familiar sun." Very iconic lyrics indeed.
And that’s were we’ve run out of material. I feel like the first song, Hardships, might have been lumped together with the clearly more well-written October Present to produce a releasable pack. The latter would have done very well as a single, which is a turn-off to the concept as a whole. Either that, or I would have liked it to be lengthier and more definable as a true Up River release. This fact lands this EP on a final score of…
Tiny Talk Reviews gives this EP a weak 7/10.
2. October Present
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Buried Below - Morose EP Review
I’m gonna start by apologizing for not posting a review these past couple of days. But don’t worry, here I am again, doing a review of Buried Below's debut EP; Morose. Being a Swedish band that plays somewhat aggressive music, this is among the most typical releases I have gotten requests to review. By aggressive music, in this case, we’re talking about a genre known as metalcore. Like in many other cases, the pot of generic influences doesn’t stop there, and stretches as far as the edges of post-hardcore and, particularly, early deathcore.
Simplistic and brutal in style, the first few tracks have a somewhat drone-ish touch to them. A quote in the intro track and at the ending of the second track add a certain obscure feeling to the soundscape, or what you could call a lo-fi feel of claustrophobia. The riff at 1:07 in the song Life is a great example of that closed-in post-hardcore thing going on. A lot like Job For a Cowboy's earlier stuff, really, and this is all wrapped up with vocalist Daniel's harsh screams and suitable clean singing.
Some of the riffs also remind us of something (now) UK giants Architects, or maybe even Norma Jean would have kept on a b-side back in the day. If this is either positive or negative goes without saying, of course, but what we certainly can say is this… Some of the riffs on this EP sound a bit, well, slapped on in a not-so-very cautious way. Not thought through, if you will.
One can’t help but wonder if this was a cautious choice - to grind it down to the dirty little mess it is. If so, we’re missing out on some crucial audible bass guitar in the mix. Either way, what we end up with, is totally sufficient as a debut EP, to clear the way for this quintets further releases.
Tiny Talk Reviews gives this EP a strong 6/10. (hinting on a 7/10 at times)
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"It’s a well-known fact that resonance and “false” feedback noise produce a sad feeling to the listener. The absence of this factor grinds some of these songs down" bro whats that supposed to mean, maybe SOME bands do that but it's not like these guys Had to. This band is sick and youve gotta be less personal! I feel like now i know more about You than the band hahahahahah but this review was decent I dont know how these guys got the same _/10 as Catena but whatever lmfao
I would like to address this issue while answering this gentleman’s “question”.
A review is a review. It’s my personal thoughts and not much more. I channel my thoughts on today’s music scene into the review as well, to keep the relevancy on a high level. It’s a generally well used concept in all sorts of media reviewing.
If you personally think a release is total shit, and I personally don’t, there’s not much else to do than to agree to disagree. This, of course, goes the other way around.
I’ve received a bunch of questions, both anonymous and personal, about this. If you feel you have to defend a band that you like or know, do yourself and the band a favor and let it be.
Lastly, don’t hate on another band because they got the same grade as a band you think deserved a better one. Please stay on the point and leave other bands out of it.
Edit: A member of the band actually submitted this album, so I promise, I didn’t pick it out to bash it in any way.
Thank you all for taking your time and reading our reviews :)
27 Oct 2012 @ 12:03PM /
TAGGED AS: other question questions
Homage - Insignificant EP Review
Kids on album art, huh? It seems like the new big thing. Out of the few reviews TTR has managed to scrape together so far, a grand total of two kids have made an appearance on the blog. Go figure, huh… So anyways, Homage is a melodic hardcore band from Toronto, Canada with a bunch of influences originating from scenes and soundscapes both here and there. To sum things up in a very rough (and hungry) way, think up a big loaf of The Carrier with a side of metal influenced hardcore, such as Shai Hulud. Add a wee pinch of modern metalcore such as The Ghost Inside (at least their Returners album) and you’re in for a generous meal of Homage's debut EP - Insignificant.
Opening with a quote from the 1990’s series Twin Peaks about justice, love and strength, we get hints that this is going to be a very heart-felt couple of songs. We are not mislead as Homage provides. With influences like said, The Carrier and Shai Hulud, it’s not a big surprise at all really. The trick is, after all is said and done, to do it right, and by “right” I mean right from the heart. A sledge-hammer blow straight to the gut. The first few tracks, the score of notes this quintet of dudes have managed to push out, the jimmies are rustled and rustled bad, so to say. In a positive, hardcore way of course.
The really soft and full-bodied production is surprisingly well done for a debut EP, the instruments are all clear and never make any irritating noise. It’s quite obvious what good this does for a band in the early stages; a really effective tool of fan-base building. In some cases though, this also has unfortunate downsides, which shows on some of these songs. It’s a well-known fact that resonance and “false” feedback noise produce a sad feeling to the listener. The absence of this factor grinds some of these songs down. The Carrier exemplify the masterly package the usage of this instrumental variety can create. The vocals, while great, could also do well with some variation. It feels like the vocalist has an important message to put across, which is specifically notable in the lyrics, but never delivers to full potential in vocal execution.
Separately, these five songs are extremely well put together, and although not very memorable, they’re all in all a decent listen. I feel like we’re not far from a top grade here, considering a few adjustments are to be made, but unfortunately we land three points off. Now, I say ‘unfortunately’ because I truly mean that it is unfortunate, that such potential can’t always make it the entire way. At the end of the day - this is a good EP one should go back and listen to, not one, but two times.
Tiny Talk Reviews gives this EP a strong 7/10.
4. Release Relief
5. It’s Becoming An Integral Part
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