Review Summary: "swing along like a pendulum, and now i'll spite the hand that fed me"
I was watching an episode of Scrubs the other day and something regarding the show caught my attention for the first time, and thus created another pillar for why I love the show so much. What’s most important is this realization came from an episode in the first season. Something about its demeanor, especially for newborn comedy, really concealed a lot of the shows flaws. Most of the jokes and/or plot developments weren’t necessarily original, but kudos to the presentation of its standard merriment for making such faults tolerable. The characters and their mannerisms really sell the show as something that knows what it’s doing even for something in its early stages of growth. This understanding seems easily applicable to Coerce’s debut effort Silver Tongued Life Licker
Now we all know the redundant rut post-hardcore seems to have fallen into these days, and very few bands actually seem to take its core embellishes to heart. Although, I’m sure we all can attest to how hard it is to do the right thing when everyone else is doing it, right? Still bands like blessthefall
should be sending up flags of warning instead of commitment. Coerce understand this epidemic and are here to set the record straight like it’s the year 2000 again. At the Drive-In
are still together, multiple Circle Takes the Square
records within one decade doesn’t sound inconceivable, and the term emo isn’t thrown around to every band who sings with mascara, because Atreyu
haven’t ruined the scene yet – oh yeah and the scene still matters.
You see, Silver Tongued Life Licker
is everything that stupefied people to fall in love with the genre to begin with. The album is ridiculously catchy, but not that annoying call and repeat repetition that is apparently the only way to set up scream/sing rotations nowadays. “Trance, Viper, Dance” is an introduction that reveals so many of the fundamental aspects the band harnesses. Like the way the create danceable breakdowns (eat your heart out Attack Attack!
) with groupie shouts that scream “We really don’t give a fu
ck!”; no seriously it does. Coerce are like a two liter bottle of soda full of bravado and when shaken they’re ready to explode. What’s best is their effort of showmanship, though completely competent to display restraint. The screams, for example serve a purpose (they don’t give a fu
ck remember) and aren’t just mindless yells giving the illusion of heaviness.
A lot of the bands melodies are built around guitar riffs that pose a love affair with post-metal which brings a warranted new dimension to the post-hardcore ensemble; case in point the title track which is rounded out with furious bursts of chug-a-lugs and imperfect guitar slides. The melding of what should be a recipe for disaster comes off as a confident signature to the bands style of play. The at times cryptic ambience they weave in between disjointed prog-iness set several tracks with a DIY attitude (“Laneway”, Barrel of Laughs”, and “Extortion Turned Publicity”) – cliché la la la’s and all.
It’s really interesting to hear Coerce make decisions that do nothing that distinguish themselves from thousands of other debut efforts. Except the X-factor here is the way the band carry themselves as a veteran outfit. It’s what makes most of their miscues amendable; because they’re display of comfortableness grooved under what makes their songs “click” is amazing. Sure songs like “The Kitchen” have their unhealthy amounts of dreariness, and ok “A Wretched Tonic; This Hex Will Last” may be a bit too western experimental for their buoyant sound; but as long as they keep this blazing passion and making tracks like “A Sordid Past; This Hex Will Last”, which defies all genres, I can overlook the steps they fall over.