As it pertains to music, chaos is anger. Pg. 99’s “Document #8” epitomizes the tense emotion with pandemonic despair in its brief entirety. Not only is it passionate, but a marvel of technicality and affect meshing to make a balanced album. Progressive tendencies allow for songs like The Hollowed Out Chest of a Dead Horse
while keen adherence to time signature governs the whole record, especially on The Lonesome Waltz of Leonard Cohen
. Suffice to say, page aren’t your run of the mill punk band. Life emanates through every pore of their music and it recalls to me events in nature that exemplify feeling quite well, like the serene breezes of autumn, the humbling heat of summer, the births of spring and winter’s morbid fury. It hits hard, reminiscent of metal but I wouldn’t call it that; this album is many things, perhaps best left uncategorized. But few pieces of music have the ability to awaken every part of one’s humanity…to live and to feel, to observe and decide, to make love and take it away. Also to desire death; when misery becomes dominant our depression can go to extreme depths, and only good poets bring back a specimen from that pressured deep. “Document #8” exhibits qualities of one such sample, but is it?
So many parts of this album display sadness, like the guitar riffs in We Left As Skeletons
and Chris Taylor’s desperate screams in The Lonesome Waltz of Leonard Cohen
. Speak of the devil, Chris is one of the best vocalists I’ve ever heard in music – a captivating character to say the least, and his lyrics capture more than a gloomy person but a spiritual morality that was brutally betrayed. If this album is about a nasty breakup, I think any and all music of that brand better sprint for it's money. This record got me thinking about how much music details that part of life: loss; a friend, a relative, a partner in love, or anyone too close to the heart to make losing them easy. Never before has it been this vivid. Or perhaps it is him who was lost in a flurried confusion caused by his own doing – a biography of self-hate? How interesting.
Sometimes hardcore music is grating, or maybe that’s most of the time, because a rare piece of this euphoric magnitude could not be derived from a distasteful artist. The ending of The Hollowed Out Chest of a Dead Horse
moves me into an elated state of mind; intoxication by musical method. Each aching croon from Taylor on The Lonesome Waltz of Leonard Cohen
creates such imagery as a shocked waltzing crowd in dresses and top-hats watching his nervous breakdown on stage in disbelief that such horror could find its way into the mind. The List
cuddles with traditional punk almost as a jab to the genre’s face, as if to make a tired and unknowingly but righteously arrogant “outdo me, bitch” their swan song. This album sounds like a narrative of past occurrences which all took an influential toll on the group as individuals – it isn’t an uncontrollable burst of emotion like art created during anger, but from
it. That’s the mark of a good musician.
To listen to this album is like being a character in someone’s nightmare. It’s haunting, but finally wakes up to a stark reality that cannot be trifled with. It is certainly a document; a file in a cabinet describing something like a police report analyzes a murder. It is likely sacred to the people who made it and an awesome example of music at its prime. Classic material without a question.