Cementing The Seams

The Plot Sickens

3:00 PM


I've been sleeping on this for a while now.

I realize that genre's aren't concrete and serve basically to lump together an asthetic abstract. They don't mean anything. My point is, genre is pretty much a wasted concept because nothing is properly quantified from the start. Mostly, when a genre buzzword is coined, it denotes a pretty narrow sonic focus. It never seems to last very long though. This bugs me. I wish that I could rely on a description of a band by genre alone to have some idea what they are supposed to sound like.

I think, probably, the most highly misrepresented genre is "screamo". I suppose it's because the word sounds like something it isn't. Even I find it hard not to think about multicolored, sideswept haircuts, dualing vocals and legions of kids wearing more than one belt clapping and pointing. In terms of sound this image is totally misleading. Screamo is much more understated, non-stylized genre. If you've run across the terms "scramz" or "emo-violence" it's because screamo bands can't call themselves that anymore without being completely misunderstood. Misnomers are a bitch.

2008 was a pretty good year for screamo really. Below are some stand-out releases.

Loma Prieta - Last City
Loma Prieta ("Dark Hill") sound like they are from Europe (or South America) but it's pretty common for American screamo groups to name themselves like somebody foreign. I suppose it's thematic of the genre though. The sound has travelled overseas and has really taken off. Loma Prieta aren't from Europe though, they're from California, and "Last City", their first proper full-length (with a new self-titled just around the corner) gives American screamo a good name. What I love about "Last City" is it's nuanced technicality. Loma Prieta play raw hardcore with a subtle beauty that could easily be missed if you aren't listening.

Raein - Nati Da Altri Padri
The near-legendary Italian group Raein returned in 2008 with a brand new LP that surprised a lot of people. Not because of any significant departure in sound, but because nobody knew they were writing it until it appeared. Pretty much, "Nati Da..." demonstrates why Raein are a ubiquitous name in European and American Screamo. This is what it's supposed to sound like.

Who Calls So Loud - S/T
Members of hardcore outfit Portraits of the Past and screamo giants Funeral Diner came together last year to create what can only be described as an epic. I think that's all I'm going to say.


andrea said...

Picked up Raein's LP the other day. Love it. Definitely one of my favourites from 2008 and right now I don't know if any songs made it to my 08 playlist. This is bothering me. Have been meaning to check out Loma Prieta for ages, so I'll finally give them a go! Also, the term emo-violence makes me think of guys with glasses and sweaters fighting each other.

Collin said...

Every place that gets Raein's LP in the states sells it in like 6 minutes. It makes me want to wear glasses and sweaters and fight people

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