Review Summary: The mid-2000s “swancore” revival that nobody really needs or wants is upon us…
I have a strong distaste for the term “swancore.” Aside from the fact that it sounds corny, it represents a bloated carcass of what used to be a new and original approach to post-hardcore, now littered with rehashing and questionable moral values.
But there was a time back when I was a young lad when that “style” was actually cool. It could be as equally aggressive as it was beautiful, and was undeniably fun. So while it is fortunate for Polterguise that their sophomore record, Eurydice
, channels that brand of “swancore” rather than what passes for it today, it certainly detracts from any other positive aspects of this album.
The instrumentals are of a professional standard if fairly unoriginal. The guitars noodle, the bass slaps, and the drumming is out of control in a good way. There are tightly arranged breakdowns, and some pretty fun cookie-cutter type riffs that are churned out relentlessly. The vocals are less acceptable, with the clean vocals sounding like a slightly less annoying Sean Milke (of Alesana) and the harsh vocals downright sounding like Jon Mess most of the time.
The band does do a commendable job of harnessing the combination of aggressive and melodic in the style of early Dance Gavin Dance. The focus is clearly on the “hardcore” part of post-hardcore and the band doesn’t stray far from that formula. There are points, such as in the song “Bleachbather,” where Polterguise eschew the whole “swancore” thing for a more straightforward metalcore aesthetic. It is these moments that save this record from being tossed aside as wholly boring.
Beyond that, though, the record is about as unmemorable as they come. It isn’t exactly bad
by any stretch, but it as easily listened to as it is forgotten. If you’re into this sort of thing, it may be worth a spin. If not, well… yeah, don’t bother.