Review Summary: We are the first disorchestra..
You have to respect the fashion in which Feelings Blade
was revealed and released, especially in comparison to the theatrics around the band’s debut EP. The band was introduced to the masses back in 2012 via three Lazarus Squad-esque videos uploaded to Youtube followed by a scavenger hunt for special USB drives, bestowing those lucky enough to find them an early look at the group’s concoctions. In stark contrast, Feelings Blade
saw the group change their Facebook photo, record two live performances basically letting us know we are about to get punched in the mouth and few weeks later, no smoke, no mirrors, Feelings Blade
drops and I’m finding pieces of my teeth on the floor. Like the group’s eponymous EP, Feelings Blade
is soaked with guitarist Steve Choi’s signature and influence, with the man’s distinctive riffage we’ve heard on Rx Bandits and The Sound of Animals Fighting transitioning nicely to a full album of eclectic hardcore. But it’s the whole, rather than the pieces, that puts substantial weight behind Feelings Blade’s
One of the best aspects of Feelings Blade
is the decision to not rely on goofy production techniques to convey its mood or its sense of heaviness. There’s no “wall of sound” that typifies many hardcore releases, and other than a lack of bass tonality, you’re hearing damn near everything the band is doing. It’s this decision-making that makes the musical acrobatics displayed on Feelings Blade
shine. Although remaining tethered in the realm of vaguely punk-leaning hardcore, the songs here progress in sections, branching off in numerous tempos and melodies in their short runtimes which despite sounding exhausting leave the listener wanting. Vocalist Vinnie Caruana’s voice, slightly grizzled with age compared to 8 years ago, provides a tinge of melancholy with its wrath, a pervading theme in Feelings Blade
. His angst is realized beautifully as he roars through gritted teeth, a trick he uses sparingly to punctuate particularly bleak sections of the album. But more so than bleak, Feelings Blade
is wild. Its constant twists and turns rip through you, mentally abbreviating its already short runtime as you catch your breath from the last song. Its aversion to using dissonance as a crutch is a breath of fresh air for the genre as well and helps the listener connect to the tone and mood of the album in a deeper fashion.
With all this said, Feelings Blade
isn’t transcendent; it doesn’t reach the surprising highs of the bands EP but it has the feel of an actual album rather than a collection of crushing songs. Passages and sections bleed in and out of each other, and Choi’s use of subtle electronics peppered throughout the album convey a sort of twisted psychedelia that is as impactful as it is transient. With 8 years since the Peace’d Out’s last release, who’s to say what the future holds at this point? Hell, this album existing could be nothing more than the guys getting together seeing if they can wrangle one more bolt of lightning in that bottle. And while Feelings Blade
can’t quite close the lid, I think the thunder they’ve recorded here is the next best thing.