Waking Records


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Here's a shockingly brief three-way split CD where all of the label's proceeds will be donated to DRUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving), a social justice organization of working class and poor South Asian immigrants in New York City. First up is the final recorded track from The Assistant, the stunning seven-and-a-half-minute "I Have a Name", which takes their metallic "screamo" style to a slightly more focused plateau than their earlier work, with powerful screaming vocals and lots of musical variation. From note-based metal riffs and chunky chord progressions with busy picking patterns to quirky clean passages and weird indie riffing with lots of dual guitar interaction, there's a lot going on to carry the length of the piece. There's more female singing present as well, providing yet another point of difference for the already diverse track. It's far less chaotic and definitely heavier than most of this style, so despite some typically choppy areas of the performances I do enjoy it. The recording is rough around the edges as well, but it sort of makes sense with the overall aesthetic of this style, and the dirtiness of the guitar tone is fine since it's pretty damn aggressive. This Ship Will Sink follows with the insanely titled "George Bush Could Fuck Up a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich", consisting of around four minutes of material very similar to that of The Assistant (as the band formed from its ashes, I believe). It's definitely more chaotic and aggressive, with a grinding metalcore edge more so than any emo/indie moments, and despite the fact that I get a little tired of the whole frantically discordant thing, it's a pretty decent song with lots of shifts in dynamics and cool rhythmic elements. The recording could be a little cleaner, it's kind of muddy and definitely rugged, but it works for the most part. The guitars are a little overpowering and have a weird tone, but so be it. Takaru then finishes it off with three really short tracks (all less than two minutes each). In a logical progression these tracks are faster and more intense than the preceding pieces, with more of a literal chaotic metalcore approach that has all out screaming vocals, lots of stuttered chugga chords, and plenty of caustic guitar playing. "Chronophobia" gets a little sloppy and overly generic, but "Why Don't You Ask Me? Motherfucker!?", despite its goofy title, is a great little track of somber clean guitars and thundering percussion that ends with one succinctly heavy dirge. Nice. As with the other bands the sound is raw, a little more cohesively mixed, but still lacking in clarity and punch. It sounds tolerable, but I think these songs are more aggressive and linear than the band's past work, so a stronger recording could make even more of a dent. The layout looks pretty good, with a consistent color scheme and lots of simple high contrast imagery, and clean text (and plenty of it) explaining the band's messages, with lyrics included for certain tracks. As a whole, all of these bands are political in nature, with the lyrics and explanatory text herein nailing that point home by attacking the current presidential administration as well as encouraging people to stand up for what they belief in and fight for what they truly want to enjoy in life. Not a bad split. I'm not blown away, but for a style that I'm picky about there's some good stuff here. The Assistant does steal the show, though... there are some excellent riffs in that tune. - aversionline