Comadre is a local band from San Carlos, CA, which is on the Peninsula of the Bay Area, about 30 minutes south of San Francisco. Like the diverse area they come from, Comadre's music is scattered around the world of emo, post-hardcore, and indie. When I articulate this mixture, I don't mean the generic Thrice copies from Southern California. Comadre sounds like Saetia if they didn't take themselves so seriously, with the dancey, sassy stylings of The Blood Brothers. Am I digging the scene points hole bigger and bigger by drawing these comparisons? It'd seem so from this apparent name dropping but Comadre is definitely above that. Their sound, which is still gawky and goofy like an immature 14-year old, holds great promise.
The Youth, as an album title sort of describes the eager and awkward sound Comadre holds onto. Saetia was a band that was really into making a huge artistic statement. Pretentious lyrics, dramatic dynamic shifts, and insane emo screaming helped Saetia leave their legacy as a respected band. This description fits Comadre but for different reasons; they are young and make fun music, as opposed to the tortured-artist pieces Saetia put out. Their song titles are pretentious because they are funny, not poetic and dramatic. One, "Are You Guys Telling Jokes? I Like Jokes," is a quote from the Family Guy episode where Peter becomes a feminist, and "City Slickers Part 6" is an apparent ode and mockery to Billy Crystal's "City Slickers" movies. Sure, these are done by other bands, usually in the grind category, but Comadre adds a little more flair to the style by having music that is incredibly upbeat and dancey for being emotional hardcore at the endgame. The band jumps all over the map with dynamic shifts, but instead of going from the repressed arpeggiated melodic sections to the chaotic, frenetic screamo sections, Comadre will go balls out for half a song, and then finish the song with chanting and drumming only. The most notable chant, "It wasn't gravity / It was the witches" is ridiculous, but ends up being one of the most memorable and lovable parts of the album. They've turned the melodrama and hyperextension of typical emo and screamo dynamic shifts on their head by doing it their own way. And the screaming. The screaming is the exact same as Saetia's. Juan, the singer lets it loose like there's something gnawing on his grundel. My only gripe with the vocals is the recording quality. The vocals were mixed awkwardly or recorded with a bad microphone or something, leaving the vocals limp compared to the other tracks. I understand the intention of using the strategy of mixing the vocals to a lower volume, but I think it's done poorly here. They just don't cut. Good thing Juan makes up for the lack of production value with some balls out screaming.
Aside from presentation and construction, the instruments are pretty cool. They are varied enough from song to song to keep the CD flowing and even stand out at a few moments. It's not overtly technical or anything like that but the guitars have tasteful flares and prominence. The bass is pretty cool. It spends a lot of time adding density to the sound. Other than filling in harmonies, the bassist does a lot of minor and major 2nd hammers and pulls, leaving a sort of undulating rhythm underneath it all. Good choice. The drumming is decent. The drums do a good job of pacing the songs and I like the straight forward beats in the chant sections but like I said, there's no freak out factor. Comadre doesn't try to be technical. In fact they don't "try" to do anything (other than rock?). That's where their appeal lies. They're fun. They manage to pull off emo with a sense of humor. Few bands can do that well. Comadre does, excepting the poorly chosen cover of "I Think We're Alone Now." I just don't dig covers. I'll admit, it translates well into a live show. Comadre brings the rock and doesn't stop live. They mostly play in Community Centers and the like, so it's a really personal show, and there's a lot of group chanting and fun for all if you catch them anywhere near the Peninsula. Comadre has a chance. Their style has promise, but is still incredibly youthful. With maturity though comes, better mixing, better musicianship, and better choice for covers. How about some K-Ci and JoJo style slow jams? I wouldn't mind hearing these guys cover "All My Life." I wonder if they take requests.
Recommended Tracks: Mess With the Best, Undress Like the Rest; Remind Me Never Stick My Hand Out the Window; Are You Guys Telling Jokes? I Like Jokes.; The Trials; I Sleep With My Eyes Open
I finally found a picture that represents the album online. The CD doesn't have a formal cover or anything so the CD itself is used. Anyways, these guys' knew CD is coming out soon. It sounds more punk these days.
I'm from NorCal too and know these guys. They played a cafe down the street from my house a year or two ago, and me and my group of friends were the only ones there. Ever since then, we've been going to a lot of their shows in both the bay and Sacramento and have come to know them.
Comadre has always been one of those bands that has no real peer. Their music is so unique and creative, it never gets old. And, as to having "not enough emotion", go to a Comadre show and tell me the emotion isn't there. Comadre shows have been some of the most crazy shows I've ever been to, simply because of the energy and emotion they pump out.
Ya whatever. Carlmont. But for real, I've been to a bunch of shows and I think energy is very different from emotion. They're fun, intense, and exciting but they're not hella skramz. They're just fun. My favorite song by them has become "Sweet Thing."