Monday, August 01, 2005


Rye Coalition- The Lipstick Game

Rye Coalition (or, if you wanna go back a little ways, Rye And The Coalition) were a band that always got a lot of lip service. Crazy live shows early on, from what I heard, and they used the obtuse revolutionary standby that Nation of Ulysses (and Refused and Hal El Shedad and umpity ump other bands) made so prominent. Now, granted, I didn’t see them play in their much-hyped kinda angular post-rock inception. I did buy the record, though, the one with the unpronounceable name. I was disappointed. Not because the record sucked- it was pretty good- but because the hype made me feel like the band was going to be a lot more incindiery and hard-hitting than their pretty okay album seemed to indicate. I gave it a shot. So did a bunch of my friends, who dubbed the disc off of me and promptly listened to it like four times before taping over it.

It wasn’t until much later that I bought in. Somewhere along the line the Rye Coalition stopped being so jagged in their anger and started sounding like an indie AC/DC and that did it. Eveything was justified.

Saetia- Retrospective

The urge to pull out a screamo record isn’t anywhere as strong now as it was say eight or nine years ago, when the genre and its signifiers were still relatively new to me. At this point in the game, all that stuff has been reduced down to the role of party favor, me putting some fucked up shit on the stereo while we’re all sitting on the back porch.

I think Saetia is a band that transcends the boundaries of the genre (of course, I used the name of the genre in the first line of the review, so do they really?). All of the flags are there- the hoarse screamed vocals that punctuate the quiet, whispered parts about like relationships gone wrong or whatever, the guitars freaking out, abrupt stops and starts, drums that don’t keep any discernable beat. Thing is that the pretty parts are developed and well-played rather than being half-assed half-pauses before reprising the chaos. The vocals, if you listen closely, carry something resembling melody even though they’re hoarse, and the tones used fall outside of the general, the cliché that I associate with the whole scene. A record, in short, that can be listened to as something more than a curiosity.


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