Review Summary: TINAGOWTFAY release an album that will knock your socks into another zip code.
A “superb” rating for a metalcore band with 3 total votes within 4 months might seem extreme. And they are all young Swedes, which means this will be another melodic metalcore ripoff that should have happened 10 years ago. Am I the father of someone in the band? Am I a lunatic who will go on to state that the band does nothing new or innovative but still deserves such high praise? Honestly, I wish I knew the kids in this band, because this is paradoxically the freshest metalcore I’ve heard in a long time. This is Not a Game of Who the *** Are You goes back to the roots and the forefathers that started it all, while adding so many experimental influences it’s easy to constantly hit rewind instead of letting the songs play out. This is progressive metalcore.
The first track immediately throws a break on your expectations. By starting off acoustic and avoiding the slow-static-into-breakdown scenario, it immediately leaves you off balance. When “The Great Psycho...” hits, it is a microcosm of the entire album. Dissonant riffs are layered on top of smooth melodies and as soon as you are sure which direction the song is headed, it breaks into an indie-pop section with an absolutely fantastic bass line, culminating in several bass slides and the most off-kilter, eerily timed old school breakdown I have heard since Botch’s “Frequency Ass Bandit”.
There are breakdowns in the album, 4 or 5 total, and they all have that aforementioned old-school feel to them. The odd time signatures, lack of bass drops, and frequent sprinkles of spastic grind influence in the breakdowns make them very unsettling in the best way possible. They are dissonant, sludgy, and in several instances have overlaying melodies.
The production on the album is phenomenal. Much like Converge and Misery Signals, the wall of sound generated in production lets the instruments do the talking. The bass work is pants-droppingly good throughout the album and the vocals take a backseat much like Jacob Bannon’s do in Converge. The comparison to Bannon is very fitting for Samuel Skoog, as his vocals read very much like his in a more intelligible way, with the addition of a very surprising guttural he pulls out several times during the more chaotic sections.
While 101010 shines in its chaotic parts, the album’s smoother experimental sections make it delectable. Frequent jazz and blues sections are delicately placed in unexpected parts of the songs; breaking up chaos and introducing new levels of beauty and allowing the bass guitar to shine. Instead of relying on slow sections and lack of movement to settle the storm, the breaks are very funky and upbeat, constantly drawing influences from everything from Scale the Summit to Dance Gavin Dance. The catchiest song on the album, “One Last Dance” uses a very uptempo, country-style twang that is sure to stick in your head for a while.
The title track will look like a throw away because of its 18 minute length, but surprisingly turns out being a very respectable and interesting post-rock song that could have been pulled directly from The Ocean Collective's discography. Even after many listens, each song has many quirks and tricks up the sleeve that just feels like a musical grab bag of fantastic ideas.
While I have referenced other bands many times in a short review, do not be turned off. While the influences are plenty, the album combines ideologies and techniques in a way that really makes things work and stick together. This album is a monster waiting to be heard.