You know, I’ve tried doing the whole analytical-review process for a while now, and while I feel that I’ve done it to the best of my ability, I want to attempt something that is a little more organic and personal. Rather than focus solely on the specific details of an album, I want my own personal opinions to be the point of focus for my reviews. I’ve read so many articles that are so centered around analyzing an album, and more often than not, I have a hard time telling whether or not the author is a fan of the album they’re discussing; which is something I want to stay away from. I want this to feel more like a conversation than anything else, as though I was speaking to you in person. I’m fully aware that this isn’t exactly a ground-breaking ideology, surely there are dozens of other writers out there that do this very same thing. But it’s what feels most natural for me, and I want to at least give it a shot and see what you all think. I want to talk music with everyone, whether through here or email, so any feedback would be greatly appreciated. I still have some growing to do as a writer, but with time and discussion I hope to give the music I love the appreciation they deserve.
I thought we would try this in a kind of big way. For a long time now, I’ve failed to discuss groups of bands that I have been utterly obsessed with, and really feel should get far more recognition than I’m seeing. And since Creator-Destructor is responsible for some of my favorites, I’d like to discuss them all briefly so you can get an understanding of why I am so head-over-heels for their releases. Hopefully this will lead to you checking them out and becoming just as much a fan as I am — of both the bands and the label itself.
Seahaven – Acoustic Sessions
I wrote about Seahaven last year as part of my Top 5 EP’s of 2010, so a full description of their acoustic versions isn’t completely necessary. But they are one of my favorite bands right now, and the fact that I’ve been listening to them consistently for over 6 months now should be evidence of how much I vouch for them. The transition from electric to acoustic guitar isn’t new, and with most bands, the change of pace isn’t too shocking. But for me, Seahaven was different. Ghosts had such an intense delivery behind it, both vocally and musically, that the idea of the songs working in an unplugged fashion seemed a little outlandish; though I’m happy to admit that I couldn’t have been more wrong. Hearing their songs acoustically works so well that it’s like you’re hearing the songs for the first time. The immensely personal and emotive lyrics come to light in a whole new way, which helped me to fully grasp brilliance behind the imagery and meaning behind them. While Ghosts was chock-full of ferocity and throat-wrenching vocals, you won’t find those here. Acoustic Sessions is just a pure, heart-on-sleeve take on what I consider to be some of the best punk hardcore songs to come around in the past year – on par with bands such as Polar Bear Club and Balance Composure. Above you’ll find a new demo they’ve recorded. It’s the first insight into what will hopefully be another new release sometime this year. Whenever that day comes, it’ll surely be interesting to hear the song go from acoustic to electric, as opposed to the other way around.
Until Your Heart Stops – Errors
There’s a wide variety of punk hardcore bands out there and each brings a unique take to the music. When it comes to the more straight-forward and unabashed delivery of this genre, I never used to look further than Gallows. I thought everything I could want would be found in that band and I was content with that…until I heard Until Your Heart Stops. Everything that makes up Errors is, in my opinion, what true punk hardcore fury should be. In fact, I don’t think the adjective ‘relentless’ could ever be more suitable. From start to finish, this album just rips it with angular chord progressions and punk breakdowns, never stopping for even a second between tracks; that is until “Caffeinated Blues”, which is the sole track that gives the band a chance to catch their breath, as well as showcase their wide range of musical aspirations. The energy on Errors is so full-throttle that it almost feels as though it’s starting just when it’s ended (9 songs in just under 20 minutes). This could be viewed negatively, but to me it’s perfect because it goes hand-in-hand with the fury of the album, and also allows for far more repeat listens. And believe me, listening to this album three times a day is far easier than you can imagine.
VYGR – Hypersleep
Isis…The Ocean…I love both of you, and hope to hear far more from you over the next few years, but with all due respect, I think it’s time to just take a step to the side for a while and make room for VYGR. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to write such grandiose and epically constructed albums like these bands, but VYGR has come out of nowhere (at least for me) and proven themselves to be good competition in the realm of Experimental Metalcore. Hypersleep, to put it plainly, is a beast of an album; perfect for anyone who is a fan of the two previously mentioned bands. It’s no easy feat to write an album as thunderous as this and keep it from being lumped in with the rather large group of mediocre bands that also attempt to do so. It’s sonic without becoming droning, lengthy without losing its captivating qualities, and it has such a consistently progressive feel to it that at points I can’t help but be reminded of Misery Signals. That comparison is nothing less than a compliment and should be more than enough to convince others to give VYGR a listen. Where these guys came from and where they’re going to end up is a bit of a mystery to me, but anyone who is a fan of Experimental Metal Hardcore needs to hear them and spread the word about this album. It’s too good to be kept a secret.
So there’s three of the four Creator-Destructor bands I wanted to write about. I’m saving the best for last and will have a full feature of them up soon. I’m going to leave you in suspense as to which band it is, but just know that they are a group whose progression between albums and relevance to how brilliant an album can be is hard to match. I’m really looking forward to doing what I can to get the word out on them and I can only hope that you will look forward to hearing about them just as much. Any guesses as to who it is?
Hit Matt up to talk about Creator-Destructor Records, Seahaven, Errors, VYGR, or music in general on Twitter at @TRRMatt or drop a line by email to matt<at>therecordrebellion.com
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