ostraca
last


4.0
excellent

Review

by Dean Morgan CONTRIBUTOR (18 Reviews)
June 25th, 2017 | 20 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A desperation sampler

Over the last two decades, screamo has cultivated an arsenal of sonic weaponry to produce distinct variations on one specific emotional affect: desperation. Throughout its many expansions, its affairs with jazz, progressive, and post-rock, screamo’s singular capacity for representing desperation in musical form has remained constant. In fact, it’s the genre’s versatility that has allowed it to explore all the different ways that desperation can sonically manifest. Orchid’s bursts of cacophony personified desperation as a howling, uncontrollable whirlwind. Envy’s balance between the brightly melodic and the furiously dissonant utilized desperation (mixed with a tinge of hope) as a motivator to propel it forward. Funeral Diner and Maths chose the most somber of chords to evoke the point where desperation gives way to despondency. And so on.

What’s especially impressive about last, the sophomore effort from Richmond, VA screamo outfit ostraca, is how it showcases many of the various forms of desperation that screamo can and has conveyed without ever obviously cribbing from any specific band that came before it. It’s not particularly innovative, but it certainly cannot easily be described as “Neil Perry meets Envy” or “Ampere with a touch of Hot Cross.” The most direct similarity between ostraca and the bands mentioned above is not in the ingredients but in the end result, that desperate emotional affect and all the ways it can be produced. “The Orchard” and “Confronting Imagism” both lash out in dissonant, chaotic storms of range. Bittersweet chord progressions on “Childlike” and “Worn Away” imbue the desperate mood with a heartbreaking depth of pain. Even the calm of “Nausea” carries an uneasy melancholy that slowly builds to frustration that finally, furiously, releases. Opener “Waiting for the Crash” transitions from a pummeling of noise to a tragic dirge and back in quick yet natural succession. In all, last doesn’t reinvent the genre, but it makes brilliant use of the tools that screamo has at its disposal.



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user ratings (31)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
verdant
Contributing Reviewer
June 25th 2017


1800 Comments


this is so well-written and the whole framing it around the notion of desperation is a really interesting perspective. love your reviews, keep it up ")

calmrose
June 25th 2017


2260 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this sounds like something I'd dig, will check



great review

Digging: IDYLLS - The Barn

hesperus
Contributing Reviewer
June 25th 2017


914 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks Land, i'm still worried i used that word too much even though it's kinda the theme of the review

verdant
Contributing Reviewer
June 25th 2017


1800 Comments


i didn't notice the repetition, so i think you're fine

calmrose
June 25th 2017


2260 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

first song in and already loving this



edit: yeah, this rips

Prancer
June 25th 2017


425 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The first song is so sick

Asdfp277
June 25th 2017


15362 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

looks cool

StarlessCore
June 25th 2017


5378 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

mussst check

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 25th 2017


19218 Comments


yeah this looks cool. nice lil write up too

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
June 25th 2017


5415 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Best length review ^ ^ Really, really good album, potentially one of my faves from this year so far!

hal1ax
June 25th 2017


8828 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice review meng



album ripz

Asdfp277
June 25th 2017


15362 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

first song is coolest

hesperus
Contributing Reviewer
June 25th 2017


914 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

agreed

StarlessCore
June 25th 2017


5378 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this is p nice

Artuma
June 26th 2017


29061 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so much name-dropping in this review but otherwise it's really cool

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
September 11th 2017


55299 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

how did I miss this?

Digging: Khmer - Larga Sombra

SnakeDelilah
September 11th 2017


19838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

[2]

Digging: Petal - Comfort

ashcrash9
September 14th 2017


2769 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

whoa this is wild

nocuffin
September 14th 2017


2040 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i miss the days of these guys being kilgore trout tbh

immemorial is a classick

Artuma
September 15th 2017


29061 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i like this new incarnation just as much as kilgore trout tbh



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