Review Summary: there's a line about elephant shit in here somewhere...
I know an album has grabbed my attention when my palms immediately begin sweating and I uncontrollably race through my mind to conjure up some description that will spark the same feeling for others. Enter: Surroundings and their debut LP Surroundings
; a band that harness the dagger concept, swiftly jabbing the mind through the ears avoiding an overload of sound often hammered by brute force - a concept so few bands understand these days. The closest I can come in detailing the group with other contemporaries is a mixture of the chaos found in Throats
alongside the agony in a Tragedy
album. This creates beautiful soundscapes suiting their doom ethic well. Riffs that are hardly discernable but not necessary to the model are spread across bass droppings that fall like elephant waste, heavy and nasty. Of course they spend no time executing each tirade, at twenty-five minutes in length with a six minute opus, there’s no time to get acquainted, simply tune in and hold on.
I often get a little too excited when trying to explain how great a new find is. I instantly lose all possessed lexis and fail at trying to convey just how stunning tracks like “Virgilkapelle” and “Man Has Failed” truly are. In hopes that my honesty adds to the veracity to be had here, I’ll take it a step further in saying Surroundings are this year’s Towers
; you know that same band from 2009 that one reviewer claimed to be as formidable as Jane Doe
initial impact? Well this isn’t necessarily up to par with the iconic album of 2001, but it damn sure makes it case as the new Full Circle
(oh, the debut from the aforementioned band). Surroundings have a nonchalant way of incorporating thick a
ss grooves that weave in and out of their frenetic consciousness. This would appear to be a bit disjointed, but a quick listen to “Trouble In the Dunes” and all notions will be resigned. Enraging genre nazi’s across the globe, Surroundings spank out everything from death metal to post punk and then back again all within fifteen second intervals. But if you tag this anywhere near progressive I swear to God…
Progressive, as well know, has grown to be a misnomer; with bands that don’t fit any strict genre description (like anything with breakdown needing a –core on the end) getting the infamous progressive label. Extensive is what I like to call works like this and Surroundings emulate the brand quite nicely. Songs end in places that seem loosely tethered from where they were strung, and incorporated techniques span the hardcore platform widely, ie. gang yells, rambunctious chugs, inaudible vocals and distortion galore to name a few. All of this culminates nicely into one album; an album that insists on using sounds that pierce the ear, much like a dagger (hey look at that!), hurting the listener but also keeping the interest level piqued – “Man Has Failed”. A band that practices no new hardcore aesthetics instead flipping the switch on the modern scene’s idea of the genre; imagine the negative image given with processed pictures, there is a perfection that lurks deep within the stills but on first glance its feel no different from the original. Surroundings are the negative image of today’s hardcore scene.