Saturday, February 11, 2012

Stalwart Sons / Union of the Snake split on Noyes / Revolution Winter Records

Stalwart Sons are from Alberta and guitarist and vocals, Kevin is up there hopefully also not having a super cold winter this year, and less shoveling means he has more time for running his cassette label, BART, the record label, Revolution Winter, and of course rehearsing these blue collar, post hardcore jams, like "Garden of Paths" which has the stuttering start and stop of guitar that might as well be a lock groove at the end of thing, the perfect silence right in between each jerk forward. Of course there's a real effort going on here, captured in this session, a strained vocal, a slightly more hardcore feel than Blonde Redhead, or even Unwound as tight as this is, as complex and locked the melodies are, it doesn't ever play that up, or highlight what they can do with a little piece of math, when used in the right way...see you can use it for something after all.
"Born to Thirst' has a great back and forth vocal, slightly panned between speakers of course, up front blast and then the farther away echo of the conscience. Again on this one, they find those great slightly minor sounding chords, the ones that get overlooked and string them together to have that dense, smart structure working opposite the vocal melody. No matter what kind of snowfall or overwhelming BS today feels like, this is going to get you through. I don't know how much geography has to do with it, and there's plenty of history of this sound coming from the sunny west coast, but I have to think this idea of struggling to do the simplest things seems to be working out for them. I have it too easy in Brooklyn, and that's why there won't be any hardcore like this, that isn't trying to kick your ass. This is maybe a better solution, they've been fighting everything else, this is a light at the end of the tunnel. Here's to spring.
Union of the Snake (that was a Duran Duran single!???) on the other side has two tracks, the first, "Decades" is getting a similar post-hardcore sound with a heavier emphasis on this distorted bassline and lots of guitar wrestled into weird melody. The vocals are from another session entirely, big effects, but back in the mix, just another planet entirely. Synth feedback? There's some kind of electronics here...the whole thing working like a really heavy Liars sound, that mix of heavy riffs and pendulum rhythms that can't possibly be making the central structure of this foundation. That house can't possibly stand. Again, with a little help of emotional math, which I guess is like creationist does anyone believe in this stuff, but then there's a museum with cave men and dinosaurs coexisting.
These are experimental exercises in punk metal, without the prerequisite speed...just volume. Post-rock can be better when the instrumentation is pushed like this, "Flitcraft" isn't predictable...there's nothing better than that harmonic string melody and a massive chord change. The far off massive chapel vocals are meeting the epic expectations of all these combinations. It works.

This is a split release with Revolution Winter and Noyes Records, they have copies on opaque pale yellow swirl or black:
2 songs from each band. Download them for free at: and

Split released between Noyes and Revolution Winter. We only have 150 copes of this record in total (50 on yellow, 100 on black) so do not wait.

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