Review Summary: Post-hardcore album of 2008(so far).
November 5th, 1955 is an emo-leaning post-hardcore band from Boston, Massachusetts, containing members from Sluts, Burn Your Wishes, and Pictures of Gabriel. Bears of the Sea is their debut LP.
November 5th, 1955 has a ton of influences, and you can easily tell by their music. Their influences are too many to mention, but they do contain such Sputnik favorites as At-the Drive In
, The Mars Volta
, and Refused
. To be honest, the members of the band would probably feel right at home here. The question is, can November 5th, 1955 live up to what has influenced them?
Yeah, pretty much.
As much as I expected otherwise, Bears of the Sea is one of the best post-hardcore albums I have ever heard. The vocals are great, the guitars are fantastic, the drums are nice, and the bass is adequate (though rarely sticks out). Every song on this LP is of the highest quality, every note has a reason, and everything seems to be in the perfect place. As of April 5th, this is my album of the year, ahead of such greats as Fortress by Protest the Hero
and Obzen by Meshuggah
The opener, The Ambassador to Sarajevo, starts as an instrumental for around the first two minutes. The guitars float across the piece, never playing the same thing as the other guitar is. The drumset sits in the background, adding in fills and keeping a good tempo. The bass comes in during a softer section and lays down a simple background riff as the guitars build up towards the climax. The climax is reminiscent of emo bands such as La Quiete
, especially the guitars.
I could discuss the other songs, but they aren’t horribly different. All of the songs consist of great dual guitar work, both guitars almost never playing the same rhythm, let alone the same notes. The guitars are technical, complex, and extremely dissonant. The drumset fits in perfectly, never standing out too much, but always pushing the song along. The bass sits in the background, does its job, and adds in a great lick or two. The vocals on this album are all harsh, reminiscent of another November 5th, 1955 influence, Modern Life is War
This album isn’t perfect. First of all, none of the songs really stand out. Sure, they’re all great, but at the end of the album you don’t have any particular song you need to listen to again. The vocals are extremely static across the entire album. The album holds up well over multiple listens, and it is extremely easy to get all the way through with its ~40 minute run time. The album flows well between songs and is full of great riffs and wow moments. If you like Post Hardcore, you owe it to yourself to at least give this album a shot. It’s a great one, for sure.
November 5th, 1955 is…
Paul D: drums
Gus P: guitar
Jason M: guitar/vocals
Tim O: bass