Review Summary: A short lived but none the less exceptional taste of all that could have been for this Massacusettes 6 piece.
One of the biggest tragedies of the music industry is how many phenomenal bands go unnoticed and unacknowledged by the public eye. It’s a scathing irony that most music that is truly incredible, unique, and original is buried under the dirt of imitators and pop icons. Why does something incredible go unnoticed? Inaccessibility? An ignorant public? Does music have
to be accessible to succeed or does the consumer market just have to grow up and evolve? It can be argued both ways, yet it will never cease to amaze me how New Found Glory
can enjoy such success while much more talented groups can enjoy so little. I can only chalk it up to a cruel, and apparently humorous God, that some bands can accomplish so much musically yet gain such a small amount of notoriety. The disillusionment and financial strain that comes from still having to work in a Wal Mart between tours causes most of these groups to tear apart and dissolve, whatever short demos and EPs they produced long gone. Of course, the intimacy and exclusiveness of such a music scene inevitably fuel’s it’s fan’s passion even more. Although these bands may never see air time on MTV, they have fans that will do anything for them, a result of the bond that a fan and musician share over something rare, special, and even sacred(which is more than I can say for Soulja Boy). It is the same DIY mentality that fueled the Hardcore scene, and continues to influence the Screamo and Emo scenes of the world. The music is more than music, and the fans are more than fans, it is a community that is a totally honest and passionate expression of the mindset of the time. A show is more than a show, it is a gathering for minority and it is a connection between the performers and audience. Instead of an arena, it is a basement; instead of stage; it is a house’s parlor; and instead of Chris Daughtry crooning about loves once lost as he rehashes a Nickelback
song, we are treated to a rioting mob of teenage banshees ripping the shirt off their screaming idol. Although some make it out alive, most of these bands burn out as quickly as they began; perhaps it’s what makes them so special. Et Tu Brute
is one of those bands.[/i]
Hailing from Massachusetts, Et Tu Brute is a six piece Experimental Screamo band. They were short lived, breaking up after only 2 years and releasing one Demo EP and a handful of splits. Despite their brief existence, they managed to create one of the most interesting and intense Screamo CD’s I’ve come across. It’s everything that a fan could ask for, running the gamut with the usual assortment of violent screamed passages and clean instrumental passages. The sound is immediately reminiscent of groups like Funeral Diner, Raein, and La Quiete.
So, where does Et Tu Brute really succeed? Well, unlike the aforementioned bands, they place much more emphasis on their clean passages. They are long, complex, and extremely well thought out. Layer after layer of guitars paint beautiful textures, gorgeous intricacies that can be both soothing and intense. Much of the CD could belong on an Explosions In The Sky release, although the arrangements are more complex and moody, dwelling mostly on minor keys to follow suite with the screamed sections. Of course, when the vocals do kick in, they tear into the listener like glass shards, and are a bit heavier than their contemporaries. The result is a varied, depressing, and emotional listen. It is almost draining to listen to, since so much of the music is rooted in building anxiety. The production isn’t anything special, but is still on par with their contemporaries and adds to the raw feel of the album. The true strength of the Et Tu Brute is not necessarily in their screamed or atmospheric sections, but rather how the two juxtapose one another. The band really works towards a crescendo in the last two tracks, and the results are breathtaking(particularly on With One Last Look). They certainly aren’t breathtakingly original, however they employ clean passages so well and to such a great extent that it puts them at the forefront of their genre.
Instrumentally, Et Tu Brute stands above most of their competition. As I previously mentioned, they make excellent use of their guitars and pour on multiple clean part, utilizing dreary arpeggios and beautiful single note lines. The guitars also shine in the distorted and screamed parts, as they actually employ quite a bit of technical playing. The music stops on a dime, and the band makes expert use of soft/loud dynamics. The bass really shines in the clean sections, and is audible throughout the recording. All members of the band work very well together, and are captivating even without vocals.
Of course, there are some flaws present. The last two songs are much, much stronger than the first two. The first two songs focus on a specific style(the first screamo, the second Post Rock), where as the last two tracks combine them seamlessly. The closing track, With One Last Look
is easily the best song, an epic nine minute tour de force of everything that is great about the genre. Also, since it is only a Demo EP it is a bit short. Still, these flaws are rather irrelevant considering how good the actual material is.
Ultimately, Et Tu Brute’s Demo EP is a glimpse at all that could have been. They display a lot of promise and talent, it’s unfortunate that they have already broken up. Fans of Screamo should really enjoy this, as it is superb offering. Their Demo drips with emotion, and it truly represents the most honest and truthful time of a band. They had no record deal, no ultimate goal set up, they were just playing music to do what they love. Playing music to express themselves. It is the same kind of honesty that makes me feel so attached to bands like Panic and Saetia. And hopefully they, and all the other artists like them, can understand that in a world where no one gives a ***, they have at least one fan who will share, support, and love their music; and hopefully that is enough to continue to push bands like them to create, to express, and to inspire.