Review Summary: "We pound the ground and flail our arms while trying to seem in control. We make our own accidents purposeful. Our musical foundation has Peace’d Out."
The validity of the supergroup has conjured contrasting opinions and heated debate since first coined in the heyday of acts like Crosby, Stills, & Nash
in the late 60's. Whether perceived as money-hungry labels whoring the few remaining sales out of has-been musicians; or as creative spaces, liberating artists from ceilings of their established projects, the word resonates uneasily with most. That being said, I couldn't help but find myself agog when Sound the Siren Records unveiled Steve Choi's brainchild through three heavily-distorted, top-secret-document-esque videos uploaded to YouTube in late August. As if the allure of these mystifying introductions wasn't enough to titallate the masses, Peace'd Out
upped the ante, spreading their music to the world by means of several strategically placed custom USB drives, creating an increasingly deafening buzz among respected hardcore communities, right up to the release of the star-studded EP.
It was while lazily galumphing through one of those very communities that I happened to stumble upon the self-titled EP, by way of its opening song, Castlemania
. The aptly-named tune really sets the tone of the record, leading off with an off-kilter array of intensifying noises, breaking into its main riff- a proggy, yet technical affair, complete with accenting guitars. Vocalist Vinnie Caruana (I Am the Avalanche, The Movielife
) then steps in, bringing his Long Island-tinged punk rock shouts, cementing Peace'd Out's distinct soundscape. Though brief, Self-titled
is riddled with moments of musical greatness like that in the middle of Cha-Chang-Chang-Chainmail
, where Caruana's angst-ridden yelling is backed only by the primal aggression of drummer Casey Deitz (The Velvet Teen
), transitioning ever so smoothly into a groovy, but still recognizably punk segment, crescendoing into yet another dynamic close.
The EP, though aggressive, abstains from the nearly formulaic means by which the genre finds itself delivered nowadays. Fast-paced, and abrupt, each song keeps listeners engaged, and with the longest song being just a few seconds over three minutes, it's easy to see why. The lyricism of these five songs is impressive as well, with most topics centered on death, or reminiscing about life back then
, managing even to scratch the surface of rudimentary existentialism. Self-titled
also fairs a bit on the experimental side, with random, but subtle electronic segments, and unconventional time-signatures. The greatest success of this compilation however, is its ability to accentuate each member of the Los Angeles-based quartet's diverse nuances and blend them together in a sound that will "make smoke and ash come out of your Beats By Dre".
Explained by bassist Roger Camero (No Motiv
), Peace'd Out is more or less the "the joining of souls", musically; the freed totality of four talented gentlemen, compressed into a 12-minute incendiary record. Peace'd Out is a refreshing testament to experience, and music for expression's sake; something lost on the half of the kids who pick up a guitar these days, sadly. With such talent, such devotion to adhering to the ideals on which their craft is based in every aspect, while simultaneously branching out into uncharted territory; this is "The Shape of Punk that Never Came".