REVIEW: Two Knights – “Effing”

tkeffing

Two Knights, the duo of Parker Lawson and Miles DeBruin, are the epitome of a duo that knows how to fucking go. Find me a stronger two piece that plays this kind of music. Effing is the kind of record that will get pigeonholed as an emo record, but that only accounts for a small portion of what it is. It is an energetic, mathy, punk rock record that knows how to get the point.

The songs on Effing are all pretty short. Save the closer, “Lex Loser,” all these song barely break the two minute mark. Even that song is just shy of 03:21. It’s remarkable because these aren’t simple, punk rock riffs. “Stoned Legends Of The Hidden Temple” and “Lex Loser” are pretty aggressive in the guitar department. A bunch of nerds would be yelling about “twinkling” if they were slower. “I Ate an Entire Pizza During One Episode of The West Wing” is on the other end. It’s way more straight forward, A to B type song.

Two Knights have basically nailed the gimmick. They are a great blend of indie, emo, math rock, and punk. Two Knights are the kind of band that knows exactly what they want to do, and they know exactly how to do it.

Two Knights
Skeletal Lightning
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REVIEW: Flesh Born – “Han”

fleshbornhanI might be one of the least qualified people to review a record like this. I don’t listen to metal, and I really have no sense of what is considered good or bad in regard to it. Things that take influence from, and use tropes of, that genre are outside of my wheelhouse. Flesh Born is, in this regard, an interesting band to me. It’s a bit of a challenge. Promotional material paints this band as “screamo-meets-black metal.” I certainly can’t argue with that. I’m really familiar with screamo, but don’t know whether to shit or wind my watch when it comes to metal. I can’t talk about this record as an example of a wider genre, but I can talk about it as something I like.

Han is a killer of an EP, and you can tell the band has put a lot of effort into what they’re doing. It also serves as a great introduction to the band, especially for people like me who hadn’t heard them before. There seemed to be more of a grind influence on their earlier releases. While Han is still in line with All The Pain I Built Up and their split with Cara Neir, it does allow for a bit more space. Though, let’s be real, it is still aggressive as fuck. This is especially apparent on “Unforgivable,” which was originally released on that aforementioned split. They added an extra 20 seconds or so to the song, did the vocals in a different range, and more or less changed the very feel of the song. Jumping a song to 1:12 from 0:55 might not seem like a lot, but it is really noticeable. That is the strength of this EP. Flesh Born is building on the material they’ve released, but aren’t afraid to try things in a different way.

The music is chaotic. The songs are short (the longest being 2:40). The lyrics are the expression of anger and hate. Han is a lot like the soundtrack to the most fucked up, frustrating day of your life. Like, look at the song “Lament.” It is 40 seconds long, and the lyrics are “I want to rip the heart out of people who hate those whose only crime is being themselves. I get so much joy in knowing that they, like me, will die.” “The Fever of Feeling” is another short one that consists wholly of the lyrics ”I am miserable with hatred for you, for me, for everything.” This is not a happy record. This is a pit of frustration.

Is this a metal record? Maybe. Is this a screamo record? Definitely. Genre purists can sit and discuss that shit, this certainly isn’t the place. It fucking rules though.

Flesh Born
Skeletal Lightning
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REVIEW: Anodes / Enta – “Split”

anodesentaThe constant splintering of music into genres is awful. It makes sense in some cases. There is quite a large difference between certain things. But, the genres get subgenres, then the subgenres get subgenres, and so on. It creates this weird environment where two things that don’t necessarily sound the same get called the same thing. This split is an example of that. Enta and Anodes are both “screamo” bands (or whatever). The ways they approach it are different.

Enta are more on the melodic and bright side of things. The guitars absolutely shine, and feature a healthy amount of reverb. The vocals have a bit more of the gruff, post-hardcore delivery. The drums are crisp and drive things home. Overall, it’s a bit more atmospheric in some regards. There is a bit of a post-rock influence to some parts. The juxtaposition between the bright music and the darker, intense lyrics is what makes the whole thing work.

Anodes, on the other hand, dwell in a much different place. They come a little more from the Circle Takes The Square / Pg.99 side of the genre. They’re heavier and darker. The instrumentation is a little more angular. There are melodic interludes in the songs, but the band is driving and forceful overall.

It’s the two different approaches that make the split work. Each band’s pair of songs work well in the grand scheme of things. In general, this is a great documentation of one genre can be when filtered through two different sensibilities. You can’t go wrong with that.

Anodes
Enta
Skeletal Lightning
BandCamp
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