Review Summary: Loss is a fantastic grind album, showing that grind doesn't have to be just blast-beats and breakdowns.
Grindcore is a fantastic genre. Categorized for being a chaotic style of music featuring distorted , down tuned guitars, blast beats, a mixture of low and high screams, and short song lengths, it is not a very accessible genre. Every time I am driving a friend somewhere and a grind song comes on, I hear “What the hell is this crap"”. I tell them, “It’s grindcore. You wouldn’t like it.” From this, they complain about how it’s not music because there is no melody, no singing, and you can’t understand the lyrics. If that is true, then this is absolutely not music. Let’s assume it is though.
Now, Loss is an excellent LP. It consists of 13 original songs and “Innocent Bystanders Watched in Horror as Peter Jennings Drew His Murder Weapon”, a re-vamped version of the same song found on The (C:) Drive of Love Stories. A track by track of this cd would be both difficult and entirely unnecessary, as most of the tracks would have the same descriptions. The tracks can be divided into two different categories: The traditional grind tracks, with fast tempos mixed in with chaos, and the ambient tracks, trading in down-tuned guitars and blast beats for serenity and dark-undertones.
Most of the tracks on Loss are of the traditional grindcore variety. The first track, Sarsaparilla, is a great leading track because it foreshadows what the rest of the album sounds like. It begins with an explosion of noise, with guitars blaring and screams abound. The track calms down towards the end, leading into the next track. The next three tracks begin the same as the first, with an early explosion of noise and strained vocals. Just Can’t Function No More is a great track, with an extremely heavy part fourty seconds in.
Other great moments from the grind-oriented track include twenty seconds in to Cut-Throat Cardiac Arrest, where the vocalist starts choking, and in the song The Anticipation is Killing Me, where the only death metal-esque vocals of the album are found. Both of these moments are a charming change of style from the bands traditional strained, grainy vocals. Innocent Bystanders Watched in Horror as Peter Jennings Drew His Murder Weapon is probably the best track on the CD. It begins with a scream as the drum and guitars come in. 25 seconds in is the best moment of the entire album. It’s extremely heavy and the vocals are as indistinguishable as ever.
The ambient tracks are just as good as, if not better than, the heavy songs. …Into Troubled Waters, I Sink shows where Me and Him Call It US differentiate themselves from most other bands of their genre. The track is a beautiful mix of ambiance and a distant drum set, giving the listener a break from the onslaught of tracks before. The song fades out gorgeously into the next track, Heartache. Heartache is the worst track of the album and the only track that isn’t necessary. It’s a waste of time, filled with ambient noise and guitar squealing that never amount to anything. The track could easily be cut down, if not removed entirely. The 6:30 track time is absolutely ridiculous. While …Into Trouble Waters was a calming track that used ambience successfully, Headache is the exact opposite. It is a fair lead-in to the following track, but it really isn’t necessary at all and definitely didn’t need to be so darn long. The Sea Swallowed Us Whole and That Ghost is Breathing Again are two great tracks, both utilizing ambience well, much alike …Into Troubled Waters, I Sink. They fit well into the flow of the album and don’t waste precious time like Headache does.
The title track, Loss, is the song I remembered the most after my first listen. The first time the song came on, my mom had just entered the room. She left immediately afterwards, saying “Oh my god” as she left. This track literally sounds like pain. The track consists of nothing but ambient noise, whispering, and screaming. I’m sure that there are lyrics in there, but they are absolutely impossible to hear. For some reason, I really like this track.
Speaking of lyrics, they are entirely incomprehensible. After four listens, the last three listens getting my full attention, I have yet to understand a single word of any of the songs. The lyrics aren’t important at all, but they do have some fun ones, especially…
“I'm biting the carpet as hard as I can, And the ceiling is still pregnant” Maybe it’s a good thing that the lyrics can’t be distinguished.
The guitars on this album serve their purpose, mostly playing behind the vocals and never really being too loud or too soft. They do shine for a few moments, particularly on the last track, Encirclement of the Dancing Scarecrows. The track ends with a haunting guitar part that concludes the album. The drums on this album are fantastic, always contributing to the track, whether it be with chaos or contributing with a smooth, calming rhythm during a softer track.
This album is great, but there are a few cons. Some of the guitar riffs sound the same as others. Also, some tracks can seem to run together because of their short lengths and the similarity in sound. Heartache is a terrible track, and many may be turned off by the vocals or the chaotic nature of the cd. For those who like grindcore, or simply chaotic music in general, this is a great album to add to your collection. For those who don’t, stay away. Stay far, far away.
Me and Him Call It Us is a grindcore band from Monroe, Georgia.
Members...(according to their myspace)
Aaron Wamack- drums, vocals, “borderline asexuality”
Black Connally- guitar, vocals, “the straight edge”.