Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Songs You Own Make Your Heart Beat

Sometimes you have to visit the past to remember why you love music. Why you breathe artistic.... Why that needle hitting that vinyl is your saving grace.... There are a few albums that do that for me. And this is one of them.

Give Up The Ghost's We’re Down Til We’re Underground is the fourth release from the influential Boston hardcore band previously known as American Nightmare. And, simply put, it is mosh worthy with so much finger point action I can barely contain myself.

The album lasts a mere 31minutes, but it is a half hour of genius. Every song serves a purpose. The record begins with an instrumental intro that includes…. an acoustic guitar? in a hardcore album? It continues until singer/songwriter Wes Eisold screams a punkrockesque “1,2,3,4!” and leads the band into the adrenaline-pumping hardcore anthem “Love American.” WDTWU culminates with an outro (similar to the intro), bringing the record full circle. This is uncommon in hardcore albums, but gives the listener a sense of closure, especially since (unfortunately) this was GUTG’s last studio release.

GUTG veers away from traditional hardcore song formulation by stripping down the noise and increasing song length while retaining intensity and abrasiveness. WDTWU is organized musical chaos. The desperation of its words are exemplified in the cavernous bass lines propelled forward by taut drums in “Crimescene”. The guitars frenetically claw to the surface from the deep end, moments away from doom or salvation, screaming for survival in “Since Always.” The songs are frantic and fraught but refuse to surrender. WDTWU showcases the maturity of the band with its polished and cleaned-up tracks. It allows for the star of the album to shine through: the lyrics.

Lyrically, Eisold surpasses himself and has created material for the tattoos of many generations to come. His phrasing is simple yet poignant, independent yet needy, cold yet vulnerable. You scream along in “Bluem” as he confesses “My head is red, my bones black and blue. Fever burns; choke on words at the thought of you.” You feel his frustration as he cries “My legs barely hold all of my heart and soul” in “AEIOU.”

This is an album for kids with broken hearts who know themselves too well for their own good. For the kids who love Salinger. For the kids obsessed with metaphors, similes, and allegories. Vocally, Eisold says it best “We Killed It” “[his] voice isn’t great, but at least it’s sincere.” Eisold screams with a passion rivaled by none and gets his point across clearly: I hurt, this sucks, and I hate you.

Since the release of the album that holds my candy heart, Eisold has started the bands XO Skeletons and Some Girls. Additionally, Eisold has opened his old publishing company Heartworm Press and releases not only his works but the works of other amazing artist. All are worth looking into.

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