Context – wishing I was still asleep
Today’s edition of “how well does recommended viewing/listening suggestions work?” is the sophomore effort of Las Vegas post-hardcore (screamo, kids. It’s called screamo.), Allomaternal. And boy howdy was this a doozy of a recommendation. Mostly in that it was a lot to take in, not in that I’m particularly excited about it. That kind of doozy.
More like snoozy, amirite?
Stolas comes off to me like a band who didn’t know how to standout in a vast sea of screamo and its many melodic-metal-esque sub-genres. The first minute and a half promises a thoughtful meander through the melodies, but then abruptly shifts into pseudo-metal that would come to dominate the rest of the album. Which is not where I thought this was going to go.
Now I don’t have anything against a good screamo-outfit–one of my first forays into “alternative” genres was Thursday’s Full Collapse, and I’ve seen Taking Back Sunday more times than I can count (thanks in no small part to their almost-always presence at RiotFest)–but attempts to liven up or otherwise shift the soundscape of the genre largely don’t work for me. So bouncing from a folk-inspired intro to a grinding cacophony of sonic assault to a back-beat driven dance section to a screaming solo just doesn’t work. Unless you are pro at transitions.
Did you see Meryl Streep’s speech at the Golden Globes last night? What an eloquent example of public address, oh that our future president could carry a crowd with that kind of understated confidence that only comes from years of knowing that your work stands for itself.
I once ate a whole half gallon of ice cream just to see if brain freeze was a thing my friends were making up to try to scare me off my favorite treat.
If the previous two paragraphs stood out to you, it’s because they frankly don’t belong in this blog post. And that’s how I felt through much of Allomaternal. I enjoy most sections of most of their songs when I would stumble back into my listening from a distraction at work, but every time they shift from genre-or-whatever to genre-or-whatever I have to reorient myself to keep the musical equivalent of vertigo at bay.
If you want a more elegant attempt at this sort of ambition, try Enter Shikari or Sky Eats Airplane (which has more nostalgia than actual appeal for me, they have many the same pitfalls as Stolas). If you don’t mind the constant realignment necessary to keep pace with your music, you may be super into this band. They come so close, but in missing the mark will fall out of my attention as completely as if they outright failed spectacularly.