Review Summary: If Craig Owens had pubes to deforest, he’d probably sound like Know Margaret.
Being the honest guy that I am, I could tell you that finding out about Know Margaret came as a result of sheer curiosity, and as they become sort of a guilty pleasure, you would question whether I am too ambivalent to make a fair judgment, to which I would answer yes and no. (Pun intended)
Such is the case unfortunately when I listen to “The First Feather”; a post hardcore debut conceived in Italy, year 2006. It takes both melodic and hardcore traits to make what could roughly be described as the legitimate produce of Chiodos meets Funeral for a Friend. With 3 tracks in heavy rotation, I proceed to consult what may be my only source of information on these guys: a rather neat MySpace page. This lack of publicity would only be one explanation to why they are so little known, but conclusively, they’re target audience is quite limited as well.
Know Margaret play catchy and novel music, but their style isn’t unique as to leave me in a state of awe, which is rather obvious from the very first seconds of the first track. The vocalist, whom I only know as Pablo with capital letters, can produce catchy vocal lines, but at the same time is capable of getting very annoying, and nasally. Whenever I have the urge to sing along, I can’t help but feel like I’m performing an untimely duet with Barbara Streisand. It’s lame yeah, but the key in which he sings does convey some kind of aesthetic in the end.
Aesthetic is, although not very apparent at times, a selling point around which the band orients their songwriting. I’m guessing the band wants to attract girls/faux-emo’s from social utilities all over the world, and judging by the massive stash of photo comments, they did it quite well. That said, the bands image is miles ahead of their ability to handle instruments, and their English for that matter.
The guitar work is less than impressive throughout most of the album, and significantly generic from the get go, as “FRA” churns out some uninteresting power chords during the choruses. These moments owe themselves mostly to Pablo’s vocals, who reach their highpoint generally around this stage of the song. Generally speaking, the structure doesn’t have a lot to offer in itself. The EP’s first single, Beautiful Ghost
combines elements from both succeeding tracks, Fragile Kiss
and Autumn Goes Home Romance
, retaining intensity whilst showcasing melody through softer sweep picking. Fede’s bass work on the other hand, is very faint, but does the job in fortifying the various guitar strums.
is easily the best song on the album, introducing Know Margaret in the limelight as the heavier band they set out to be, and now these weenies from Turiniz bring on the shred for real. The palm muting, and not to mention the dissonance toward the end of the track help bring out the consistency, and the vocals resonate with the chugging to great effect.
By the time I reach the last track however, I’m seriously second-guessing the song title, which sounds like the writer had verbal diarrhea and just put a bunch of stereotypical neo-hardcore words in random order. Being a really bad attempt at taking the quintet’s epic sound to a new level, the song is not on par with the rest of the EP. Pablo chants “I feel the night” in a particularly whiny, and monotonous voice, while the chorus is stained with insipid power chords yet again.
“The First Feather” despite being generic, actually turns out to be a bit rewarding. Know Margaret produce an effort that is only held together by a safe, catchy foundation, while Pablo brings out the spice with his vocals, being the kind of fail-safe on the album. It’s not that bad, and it’s certainly hopeful in regards to the bands forthcoming album. In many facets of music however, it is quite disappointing, as we probably won’t be seeing anything new in the music scene.