Review Summary: A very promising, very heavy hardcore debut.
It's pretty appropriate for me to be listening to and writing about Courtships' The Feral Sound
on what would appear to be the eve of some major changes to the Internet. A member of Courtships asked me to review this album some time ago, giving me a link to the band's Facebook page along with something more: an offer for a Mediafire link. Wanting to eschew the hassle of repeated listens on a Facebook page, I of course asked for the download, and it was given without question. I promised not to share the link, but I have a feeling that I didn't really need to – Courtships are a little-known entity and I'm sure they wouldn't mind the exposure. I don't need to say how much something like SOPA would disrupt the careers of bands like Courtships, so I'll just express for the millionth time how grateful I am that small bands have the technological ability to quickly share their music with a lot of people.
Obviously the downside to that is the amount of shi
tty music out there, but gems like The Feral Sound
make it worth it. The aesthetics of the album cover led me to believe initially that they were an emo band, but their sound is much more akin to bands like Botch and Coalesce. While there is some technicality at hand – notably “Comatose Lover,” with its Fall of Troy-esque leads – the focus is mostly on nebulous riffs that drop in and out, sometimes returning slightly skewed; the band is particularly good at making natural transitions between song sections, something with which a lot of similar bands have trouble. The best thing about The Feral Sound
is its unrelenting nature; too many young bands subsist by feeding off the latest trends by writing bullshi
t “melodic” sections and incorporating awful clean vocals into their music. There is a lot of Trap Them in Courtships' sound, mainly in the vocals but also in the way their songs always move forward with a purpose and a clarity that most veteran hardcore bands would be proud to display. One of the flagship merits of punk music is that it states its message clearly and simply so that it can be understood and shared with as many people as possible. Courtships do that and much more with The Feral Sound