Review Summary: It's a pretty messed up situation but that doesn't mean we can't have a party or have a good time.”Punk rock is f***ing self-expression. Punk rock is creating something outside of mainstream society to keep us sustained. If you don’t f***ing believe in that, then I’m sorry but this what it is to me and this is all I have.”
There is a common misconception when I drop the term “emo” during a conversation about music, often that of a confused tilting of the head or a painful wince with the imagery of a self-abused teenager wearing a Devil Wears Prada t-shirt which usually spoils hope for any group stamped with this label. Unfortunately, less than 1% of people in normal society think of bands like Neil Perry
, and Circle Takes The Square
when a person or a band is accused of being “emo.”
Kodan Armada is the definitive emo group which is saying more than enough about a band. Never in my life have I heard a more true-to-life record caught in a web of extreme emotion and incredible delivery like Kodan Armada’s A Collection Of Songs
. The band had a few lineup changes before finalizing with Dan Davis and Brent Woosley on vocals, Craig Isaacs on guitar, Cory Popp on bass, and Ryan Swigart on drums. The album (or compilation, whatever you want to call it) is basically a storytelling of the band’s career with each interlude between songs being an interview or live recording where the members of the band speak their minds about music, society, and sometimes explain what the following song is written about.
“This song is about how someone in Louisville, who was handcuffed and had a tiny knife, but got shot fourteen times by two cops and they got away with it… bull***.”
This excerpt, taken from Handcuffs
, was explained to a crowd just moments before they played Cops
which has to be the most emotional track on the record. There is an ambient break about forty seconds in that leads into a powerful, accentual chant: “It’s not you I hate… it’s you’re f***ing race!” which is repeated several times before lead vocalist Dan Davis has a discordant monologue: “When someone is handcuffed, he does not deserve to be shot fourteen times!” The pure intensity conveyed through Dan’s voice puts the listener in a sort of reassuring perspective of how society isn’t always moral. Although this all sounds fairly cheesy through words, the actual music itself will definitely put you in your place. There is, however, one song on the album that doesn’t completely take itself seriously (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing at all considering it’s one of my favorite parts of the album) called One
which starts off fretful but transitions into an allusive, funny break where the band plays a part of Carry On Wayward Son
by Kansas before returning to Kodan's original sound.
Overall, A Collection Of Songs
is an anthology of aggressive instrumentation, heavily passionate vocals/lyrics, and an insightful (occasionally humorous) outlook of a band who created intense and sometimes beautiful music. My recommended tracks are: No Has Never Had 3 Letters
, and Butterfly Effect