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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Misery Signals
Misery Signals
State of the Art Recordings

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
In May 2002, a young and earnest hardcore band from Alberta, Canada called Compromise began tracing a constellation of tour dates southeast, points that would eventually connect them to a horrific van accident and the loss of the lives of two band members. The fleeting final days of the band's existence were marked by sharing the stage, and a genesis of friendship, with one of the biggest splashes of kerosene to the hardcore torch, 7 Angels 7 Plagues. For hazy and decidedly ambiguous reasons, 7A7P dispersed shortly thereafter. Apparently the impression reciprocally branded between the bands was great enough to bring the members heaviest with passion and stubbornness back together under a new banner. Hearts cumbersome with the scarring of loss are channeled into inhumanly dexterous limbs, fingers and vocal chords and the cathartic mourning and convalescence that is this EP.

In the case of this debut, limbs deliver battery to double kick pedals and muscles within contract like clockwork in executing Meshuggah-inspired muted picking patterns. Attempt to fathom for a moment a language foreign to you fed by Morse Code pattern, sped up one hundred times and pulsated in jagged, bassy shards through blown speakers. The endless bone-hard vertebrae of the kick drum follows the assault and gap and assault immaculately. Vocal chords suffer a prolonged suicide over six tracks, disbanding in articulating the lyrical content which orbits largely around the Compromise van accident, the ensuing emotional consequences and a lustrously fresh need to live one's life fully. The aforementioned fingers narrate all the while with between-the-lines bass notes and plenty of finessed melody. Melody is what provides buoyancy here. Some moments feel absolutely jubilant, as in the rising-out-of-sight closing riff in "Echoes Part I. Mark the Path".

Songwriting is paramount for Misery Signals; other metal and hardcore bands with heaping musicianship and refined melodic sensibilities aren't what they are because of a lack of this. I have no hypothesis toward how the completely random chug in the midst of "Lie Captive" was conceived. They succeed in lacing parts together to provide effect so that the final collage of sections confirms a mosaic, making so much sense it seemed obvious and you wonder why any band ever tried it differently.

Misery Signals themselves will always try it differently. I'll pre-emptively go as far as to say that they'll most certainly always nail it. No matter how irregular, the moves will always seem orthodox and correct coming from this band, despite the convention-raping assembly of their ideas. This is the next level.

Reviewed by Jordan Reid
A former staff writer for LAS, Jordan Reid used to go by another name, but the Internet freaked him out and he changed it. We have no further information on Mr. Reid.

See other reviews by Jordan Reid

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