Review Summary: An eclectic release from a well respected diy band, "Comadre" pushes boundaries while still delivering thrills, with some unexpected chills to accompany them.
As a band, Comadre have always been most notable for the fact that out of all the “screamo” bands to have broken out since the mid-00’s, they are one of the few that never seem to have let up. Even though they’ve only released two ‘real’ records since 06, that time has been filled with splits and mix-tapes, constantly updating their catalogue. Along with the fact they are always playing somewhere, sometime (and never missing a single Fest to boot), its impressive that they’ve spent all of this time without some huge change in sound. Segue into…
“Whoa, guys, did you hear the new Comadre album? Its like…totally different.”
-Some guy in some living room, somewhere in Southern California
, as a self-titled released, is incredibly self assured. Whereas most bands would use the opportunity of self-titling an album to reassert their sound, Comadre flips this on its head by going balls-to-the-wall with expanding their style. While they’ve always made a habit of being an ‘eccentric’ hardcore band, they pretty much shed any inhibitions and go straight into making some kind of crazy blend of 80’s punk revival, post-punk, 90’s alternative and post-hardcore. While the first two tracks, “Color Blind” and “Cold Rain” are solid if straightforward up hardcore songs, once you get into “King Worm”, with it’s dark synth-pop aesthetic and the Nick Cave/Robert Smith vocals playing off their usual strained screaming, the album really starts opening up.
“Summercide” is a brilliant first single, playing up the *** sounding keyboard-through-amp recording to give the song a driving beat. As infectiously catchy as it is tonally abrasive, Comadre somehow manage to keep the song from getting too ridiculous. “Drag Blood”, likely the strongest song the band has ever written, manages to transition from trumpet riffs and huge synth notes into a slow, deliberately plodding bridge as vocalist Juan screams “the Devil owes me” to chilling effect. As a matter of increased note, the harsh vocals have become even more of a sticking point: the delivery goes from throat-shredding yells to ear-piercing yelps (honestly, it gets pretty close to Jerome’s Dream level insanity at times), and those who get annoyed by those types of screaming might have to take a minute to adjust to how abrasive the vocals can be at times.
That said, the trademark intensity of Comadre has transformed on this record. Gone are the days of the windmill-mosh of “Breakfast of Champions” and “Blackland Dirt”, replaced by aggressive sections that can honestly only be described as ‘dance-mosh’, minus all the incredibly negative connotations you’d normally associate with that kind of description. The album can go from Germs worship into a movie soundtrack-like instrumental, followed by a soulful R&B sample, transition into quiet musical interlude and then back into ferocious hardcore without missing a beat. Where most other punk bands are content to use other genres as gimmicks to prop up their weaker moments, Comadre never relent with their writing, rarely leaving you not surprised or unimpressed with a song. While its certainly too eclectic to cater to everyone, if you can deal with a tastefully executed mix of hardcore, punk, post-punk, alt, and post-post-post-post-post whatever you want to label it as, Comadre
is an excellent evolution and a great way to kick off diy punk in 2013.