Review Summary: mathcore -harsh vocals + clean vocals + nintendo + female vocals = goodNote: This review was written with some misconceptions about certain music genres, but in no way reflects the opinion of the reviewer, which of course really likes and respects hardcore music, nonetheless has to work on this misinterpretations and prejudice in order to reel people into listening to this sexy band
I know that many people are just not into the mathematical hardcore
music because, in the first place, some people are just not into music that’s nothing but guttural screams, and basically “wrah wrah gggggg wrah *chugga chugga duru duing duru diun csh csh*” in music. Then again, you can’t tell me that I’m a close minded little bitch because I’ve been listening to some hardcore lately, and I enjoy it, vastly.
Now, why do I rant about it? I felt like it. And because We Versus the Shark, a band from Athens, Georgia, brings us this really nice observation that would be, if it weren’t such a pretentious title, a ground-breaking album. How so? Well, think of Math Rock/metal bands. Think of The Dillinger Escape Plan
. OK, now erase the vocals, and put there a much more… pleasant for the masses vocal member. Now, slow it down a bit, and add some Kelis
. Now add some Madonna
to it, and some Franz Ferdinand
to the equation. That’s pretty much what this band sounds like, to be quite honest. Yes, it’s a weird mix, but it works stupidly well considering all the elements that make it a project per se
The album begins with You don’t have to Kick it
, starts with some semi-electronic “go-go’s” sung by a person and some electronic drum beats, breaks into a guitar riff, and back with all the band, in one of those super fancy odd time signatures kids nowadays love to use. The song has a lot of guitar breaks, which is a very hardcore-esque thing (I’M NOT SAYING EVERYWHERE IN HARDCORE IT JUST HAPPENS A LOT ALRIGHT) and well, overall diverse music vibes, except there’s no excessive volume in instruments. There is distortion sure, but it’s not deafening nor mutening for the instruments, it’s just the right amount of it. The song is also very dancey, so you can grab a girl and invite her to dance to the beat of the song. Lyrically it’s… odd. I mean, clearly wrote for dancing, I’m not denying, and despite I’m almost always against unnecessary repetition, it works nice here. As good as it gets
is also a very energetic song. Same as the last one, but I have to point out I’ve always been a fanatic of the open-close hi hat sound, especially when well used. Well, the little section that has open-close hi hat sound in this song is nice. Ten uh clock uh heart uh tack
begins slightly softer than the other two songs, but this one features vocal females. A nice change, I must say. This graceless planet
has a very nifty intro. Slide
has a very Nintendo-esque sound to it, but well it’s all in the synthesizers, which reminds me a lot of HORSE the band
, in a good way. And so on… No flint No spark
is also hardcore influenced, except for the vocals as I said before, and is also a high energy, nice song. I am your Idea
as well, contains female vocals, and some random synthesizer’s sounds, and is again very soft compared to other songs in the album.
My intention is clearly to tell you what goes on each and every single one of the songs, nonetheless it’s nearly impossible to do so, since every song is so diverse within itself, it’d take me years to explain you what happens exactly on each song, as you might have guessed from the description of the song. So let’s do one thing. I’ll tell you what stands out on each song, and you just add to each the odd time signatures, the really, really god drumming, and the tremolo picked guitar sounds. And many breakdowns. This has more breakdowns than a goddamn ’77 chevy. With no electric doors or locks. And well, it mathematically makes sense in many ways. It must me named math rock for some reason, right? Well. I really like what I listen in the album because it makes sense in a very archaic way, yet it’s comprehensible to mortals who are not familiar with hardcore music, at least not enough to understand say, The Dillinger Escape Plan. The vibe is of course very dancey, and it’s up to the standards of bands like We are scientists
or Franz Ferdinand
, except of course this guys are new to the scene and what not. But I have to say there’s an evident lack of maturity, which clashes a lot with the musical proficiency of the band members. They are obviously great at playing music, and they are on a good way, but still they have to work on the concept of the band, if you want to get philosophical in order to get a more focused sound (even if focus means not making sense at all, or even better, make sense in an erratic, crazy way).
And well, lyrically it has it’s nice moments. There are no clichés [i]per se[/] along their lyrics, but there are some weird rhyming intentions that just don’t come through. But that’s nitpicking of course. Lyrics deliver. They are for the most part obscure as in, I-don’t-really-know-what’s-going-on-and-might-take-a-while-to-decipher, but they are of diverse subjects: Dance floors, accidents, kids playing. At least that’s what I can get out of the extreme spastic songwriting. But hey it kind of makes sense, considering the context the music takes you to…
So as you might have noticed, I like how eclectic this album is, and how eclectic the band itself is, and it is a great listen if you feel like analyzing it slowly, or just to sit down and well… listen to it. But as aI mentioned before, there’s still a lot to be worked on: Focus is very important, and well. That’s pretty much it. A great album I recommend you to listen if you don’t really have anything you want to listen currently, and looking for the benefits of mathcore without the grunts.
- tojes and assorted peeps