Comadre
Comadre


4.5
superb

Review

by Glokta USER (4 Reviews)
October 11th, 2013 | 13 replies


Release Date: 01/08/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: DIY band shows everyone how it's done.

Comadre have always been rambunctious and hard working- releasing 5 albums/eps since their inception in 2004 and numerous split lps - whilst maintaining, or at least shooting for, a sound which encapsulates more than just in-your-face hardcore punk/emo. On their earlier releases, such as "Burn Your Bones", they kept their music short, fast, chaotic and fairly typical as far as the genre goes though perhaps more interesting than their DIY peers; guitarists Kenny Gabe and Jack Shirley relied heavily on speedy power chords and dissonance, Vocalist Juan Gabe displayed a fantastic texture to his "Hardcore" delivery whilst sounding a little too mumble-bumble in his pronunciation and both drummer Wesley Elsbree and bassist Steven Shirley held down the bottom end in an effective, if sometimes terrific, manner. However, their 2013 self titled effort sees the band blowing away all competition and raising the bar a fair few proverbial levels.

On the not-so-close-back of 2009's "A Wolf Ticket", which evidenced the bands growth as far as clearer songs and more diverse volume/compositional ideas, "Self Titled" comes baring gifts. Opener "Color Blind" and it's adjoining track "Cold Rain" find the band at their pounding best; driving drums and bass (a particularly memorable bass line forms the backbone for "Cold Rain") mesh perfectly well with Kenny and Jack's simple yet exciting staccato, dissonant and anthemic-sliding guitar work whilst Juan showcases his much improved - clearer though equally harsh - delivery. These tracks open the album brilliantly; short, sweet, chaotic yet reserved and simply enjoyable. Then, following a number of tracks which build further on the albums sound - incorporating a tasteful usage of organ and keys - comes "Drag Blood", the song which truly takes the album to another level. Boasting a plodding swagger, memorable vocal line, some seriously cool pairing of bending guitars and organ, and a catchy horn section, the song implements several of the bands strongest ideas as it builds towards a slowly growing, then dying, groove. It also contains some of Juan's most tortured vocals as he belts out the line "The Devil owes me..." again and again with accompanying/answering lines such as "The Lord's first born", and although these lyrics aren't necessarily exceptional Juan makes them much more engrossing than they appear on paper.

Further tracks add to the albums solidity ("The Moon" is brilliantly addictive), including a piano based instrumental which sees the band steeping out of it's comfort zone and pulling it off, more simplistic hardcore punk and a song which contains a short sample of Amy Winehouse's "Back To Black" no less before reaching it's fantastic ending with "Date Night". The album's closer, it's opening section and chorus' in particular, shows a slightly different side to the band; almost blissful in some of the instrumentation as Juan's vocals sound seriously harsh yet not ridiculous on top of the chorus' whilst still holding a hell of a lot of punch. The song's structuring, tonality, it's use of acoustic guitar and piano to colour the sections along with one of the catchiest and coolest riffs you're likely to hear makes for one of the band's best moments and ends the album in the best possible way. Sadly, compliments aside, the LP does have it's flaws. The main problem with this album is also one of it's strongest aspects, that being that the songs are short. Only two break the 3 minute mark and whilst this lends itself extremely well to the style of music Comadre play, it also hinders certain tracks' progression as ideas which are interesting and entertaining fail to develop into anything other than a verse or a chorus. Nowhere is this more apparent than "Hack", although the song is actually one of the strongest on the album, it is simply too short, as it builds up and pays off and builds up yet again to pay off but failures to capitalize on it's solid sections (only two in all honesty) with anything other than what is presented in it's 1:56 run-time. Finally the lyrics do deserve a mention. Although they aren't particularly inspiring or original for the most part - in fact they tend to be fairly average - they do fit the music very well and some lines are deceptively memorable:

"It's the moon that's colour blind" "Let me hear his name, I bet it tastes like rain" and
"There was a summer suicide"

stay with you long after listening. This fact, although slightly disappointing, does not hinder the album too much as Juan more than makes up for some of the weaker lyrical points on the album - none are downright bad - via his truly gut-wrenching, melodic and gravelly vocals.

Overall, Comadre have produced one of the best new releases in a long time as far as their preferred genre goes and certainly in the DIY scene. Despite it's minimal weaknesses, this album should find it's way in to most, if not all, music fans' collections.


user ratings (164)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
FlattedThird (3.5)
Comadre grow into the band everyone expected them to be, and the results are exceptional....

John weathered old reviewer Hanson STAFF (4)
An eclectic release from a well respected diy band, "Comadre" pushes boundaries while still deliveri...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Glokta
October 11th 2013


210 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

My 2nd review. I know someone else has reviewed it, I didn't read it, but I don't mean to step on anyone's toes - just really felt like reviewing this.

Any feedback would be great.

TooLateToGoBack
October 11th 2013


1764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Really disappointed these guys broke up :/

Digging: Pianos Become the Teeth - Keep You

Glokta
October 11th 2013


210 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Same bro. I live in England so I never got a chance to see them play, plus I got into them pretty late. One of my favourite bands probably. What did you think of the review? Or didn't you read it? (seems to be the case with most reviews nowadays)

Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 11th 2013


17213 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I got the chance to see Comadre a couple times, most recently was earlier this year with No Sir, Ghostlimb, and End on End on that little farewell tour they did. One of the best bands from California. Bummed about them calling it quits.

good review btw.

Digging: Inigo Kennedy - Vaudeville

Glokta
October 11th 2013


210 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cheers for the compliment dude, appreciate it. You lucky bastard seeing them live, wish I could have so bad. I'm a bit ashamed to admit it but I don't know any of the bands you mentioned, gonna' check them out though.

Was the guitarists former band any good, something about light I think was their name?

chambered99
October 11th 2013


804 Comments


summercide is still fantastic

Glokta
October 11th 2013


210 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

agreed Chambered, but it didn't feel right to mention it in the review. What you think of review? Or you no read?

chambered99
October 11th 2013


804 Comments


I just read very good man agree a lot :]

Glokta
October 11th 2013


210 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cheers mate, really appreciate it. I just had to write it, I know that sounds proper dick-head-y but It just made me want to review it.

chambered99
October 11th 2013


804 Comments


no I know your feeling

Glokta
October 11th 2013


210 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Whoever po'sd, cheers.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
October 12th 2013


3450 Comments


All right, here's some feedback. Sorry it's late, I've had trouble getting off my ass today.

First off, your word choice occasionally strikes me as odd. For example: "Opener "Color Blind" and it's adjoining track "Cold Rain"" and "Further tracks add to the albums solidity" Neither sentence is wrong, per se, but the words are a little off-putting.

It's a testament to the strength of the review this is the first qualm I have, though. For a second review especially, this is quite strong. At this point, you've gotten down most of the technical aspects of writing solidly, and your work follows a coherent structure and flows pretty easily. From here, you should work on developing your own voice. It took me a while to do that (look at my earlier reviews and you'll see I kind of followed the "band/genre history-good things-bad things-conclusion formula a lot), so I'm not expecting you to do that immediately. However, given enough experience and care it will almost without a doubt happen. Until then, read some reviews by guys like Butler/Klapper/Downer/Chan/Irving to get an idea of how their work goes above and beyond in terms of the fact that you can tell it's actually written by them.

The one thing I would say though is break your massive paragraph in two, as it's easier on the eyes to split it when you start talking about the bad things. Also, move the quotes into that same paragraph - it doesn't behoove you to have them isolated and then try to continue the sentence on the next line.

BTW, you don't have to worry about stepping on other people's toes when you review something that others have already looked at :]

Have a pos, and looking forward to more writing!

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
October 12th 2013


3450 Comments


Also, before I forget - last paragraph should either be ditched or beefed up. Unless you're making a particularly poignant point in those last 3 lines the paragraph looks kind of awkward.



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