Street Sects
End Position


3.2
good

Review

by Tristan Jones STAFF
September 17th, 2016 | 78 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: blossoming

It’s difficult to say who is meant to hear Street Sects’ newest effort. It’s not really prescribable. The title is a bit deceptive, as the album doesn’t exactly provide a clear ultimatum (though, allegedly it’s a nod to a Bonnie “Prince” Billy track, so take that as you may). There’s no single tipping point; End Position works like a jumbled mess of jittery pistons and blown gaskets. The Texas-based duo of Leo Ashline and Shaun Ringsmuth have an uninviting, urbanized aura, as though their psychosis has festered under the lights of XXX signs, roaring city ambience, and abstract, rathole alleyways. Despite the sounds being influenced by the city hustle and bustle, End Position dances not with a sense of communion, but selfish, bloodied fervour. Street Sects combine dirty synths with traces of noisecore and industrial piss, underscored with thoughts of suicide and misanthropy. Lines like “each time you reach out / I find it strange / seems like a waste of goodwill” (from album highlight “In Defense of Resentment”) carry a pathetic, dismissive sting. End Position comes from the gutter. Conceptually, it aims even lower. Questionably-mercy-killing-your-wife-and-child low.

A balance of catchiness, chaos, and hatefulness is a tricky one to maintain without sounding tongue-in-cheek, and Street Sects mostly accomplish this, all while tapping into an interesting sonic formula. Single “And I Grew Into Ribbons” uses rapid machine drumming, samples of city noises, and envisions a slummy state of emergency. It’s not hard to pick up on their past lives in various deep-city hardcore punk outfits. Follow-up “Copper In the Slots” tumbles into a dance-punk frenzy that could be the soundtrack to a sadistic 90s video game boss, jostling you helplessly. “In Defense of Resentment” has groovy, addictive sub-bass, bounding off of the prior track's energy perfectly. If End Position maintained this dynamic consistently, it would be infinitely repayable. Underwhelmingly, the chaos levels out a bit in the album’s midsection. By the time we hit “Victims of Nostalgia”, the ghoulish demeanour starts thinning out, stepping into hokey territory. Some of the samples - traffic noises, breaking glass, screams - border on gimmicky. Still, it works more often than not, as the album is fundamentally doused in feelings of cheapness. Shaun Ringsmuth’s production is clever in how it manages to be so meticulously calibrated, yet sound smudgy and thrown-together, complementing the album’s dumpster-drowning visage.

End Position is very corporeal in that, despite the underlying themes and consternation, it doesn’t really spend much time thinking about anything for too long, regardless of the overhanging dread. Or, maybe it does, but chooses the destructive route by force of habit. It takes violent action, spewing and thrashing, then pops smoke before leaving you much to grasp. It’s a weird counterpoint to its own motifs - the essence of self-destruction, really. One almost wishes the album’s delirium took a long, fascinating conceptual trip into Ashline’s psyche in order to deconstruct things a bit. Instead, we get brief flashes of introspective bile. Ultimately, your appreciation for End Position will depend on how you digest Ashline’s conveyed obsessive attitude, which doesn’t really develop or devolve over the album’s course, despite the jagged detours. It’s fitting; Ashline is allegedly on the upside from a thirteen-year addiction, of which he despises nearly every wasted moment and cyclical failure. We can only speculate whether or not the music is indicative of the struggle, but End Position is a good synopsis of something. Odds are, the less it means to you, the better.




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Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
September 17th 2016


6376 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

https://streetsects.bandcamp.com/album/end-position-2

Gyromania
September 17th 2016


23502 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn, just a 3?



I listened to this earlier today and I think it's probably a 4 for me. Good review as always

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
September 17th 2016


6376 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

i considered giving it a 3.5 but idk. a 3 just f e e l s right

actually fine maybe i'll nudge it up to a 3.2 bcuz i can

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
September 18th 2016


13305 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was gonna review this goddamit

Digging: Polvo - Cor-Crane Secret

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
September 18th 2016


6376 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

o ~0

spookynewghostfriend
September 18th 2016


727 Comments


probably fucking rules tbh

spookynewghostfriend
September 18th 2016


727 Comments


good review as always

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
September 18th 2016


6376 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

thx. I went in expecting to love it and ended up just liking it. The rym avg is kinda crazy tho so maybe I'm missing something

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
September 18th 2016


13305 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

too many of the tracks are sorta samey for it to be amazing

spookynewghostfriend
September 18th 2016


727 Comments


quite a large palette of sounds thus far, i could see how it would be grating to have their EP done for half an hour straight, the clean vocal sections help set an engaging ebb and flow to the noisiness. But my main point, quite a few of those ten second or so sections that are just sick, they come and go with new elements and it's just so nice to pick through the song as you listen.

spookynewghostfriend
September 18th 2016


727 Comments


Edit: i guess you could call them hokey, i would say it's something to be expected, clear gabber influence. and i just finished (and purchased) the album and can say the closer is dope. awesome album, spooky stamp of approval fun for all the friends =]

spookynewghostfriend
September 18th 2016


727 Comments


i guess that flenser review i just saw didnt help your expectations, i would hardly call this " a provocative existential statement on the bleeding-edge of extreme music." johnny where are u talk to me

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
September 18th 2016


6376 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

well yeah i try to ignore the "promo reviews" as they tend to be pretty over the top



anyway yeah each song has a ton of little elements strewn throughout so it's definitely fun to dwell on specific songs for a bit and dig through (i refer to the production as "dumpster-drowning") but i guess the overall vibe of each track is pretty similar beginning to end which definitely isn't a deal breaker (i enjoy plenty of albums like this) but if it was ultimately more chilling and depressing then i'd be inclined to rate higher



and yeah the "hokeyness" works for the most part but by the time i get to the album's midpoint i'm just like, "ok." this is a listen-a-bit-here-and-there album for me



and tbh i just find it an ~interesting~ album regardless of to what extent i can honestly profess to enjoy it. it'll be on rotation for me for a while for sure, and might even win me over eventually. i could be completely undervaluing it rn

spookynewghostfriend
September 18th 2016


727 Comments


definitely not an emotionally sophisticated album, ill agree

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
September 18th 2016


6376 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

anyway i wouldn't have reviewed it if i didn't think it was worth checking, so i'm glad it's getting love

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
September 18th 2016


13305 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just remembered I mentioned this as my record to look forward to in the interview we did johnny

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
September 18th 2016


6376 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

mhmm : ] i happen to be on the flenser mailing list tho so it showed up in my inbox later that week or something. would've probably overlooked it if i didn't remember you mentioning it

UniqueUniverse
September 18th 2016


7915 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Mort: I kind of liked the fact that it was samey. As if each song was connected by the same unifying idea. And that idea being a complete insanity that never stops.

Digging: Jawbox - For Your Own Special Sweetheart

spookynewghostfriend
September 18th 2016


727 Comments


well your perspective of the universe is rather, ahem, more unique than the rest of us xD

UniqueUniverse
September 19th 2016


7915 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Not really



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