SeeYouSpaceCowboy's brand of metalcore reminds you of the greats

Categories:  Music    The Arts
Friday, October 4th, 2019 at 11:39 AM
SeeYouSpaceCowboy's brand of metalcore reminds you of the greats by Ben McCullough

If I was asked a year or two ago what I expect to see from the hardcore/heavy music scene in the years to come, my last guess would have been that I’d be seeing bands that encompass the abrasive sound of 2007-era metalcore bands such as The Devil Wears Prada and Attack Attack! playing “DIY” hardcore venues and festivals. You have to be kidding yourself if you are not excited.

I’ve missed hearing from new metalcore bands that play quality, captivating music. The popularity and the number of bands that span the genre of metalcore has died down over the last decade, especially those that do it extraordinarily. However, today the heavy music scene is once again seeing metalcore bands that are fresh, exciting and heavy as ever.

Of course, there are bands that have been around over the last decade that have put out groundbreaking metalcore music; it just hasn’t been until the last few years, where we’ve seen a greater re-emergence of this type of music with bands like Sanction, Vatican, SeeYouSpaceCowboy and more. 

One of the current leading bands in the metalcore/hardcore scene is California’s viciously frisky SeeYouSpaceCowboy. The band signed to Pure Noise Records in January of this year and have just released their first full-length LP titled “The Correlation Between Entrance and Exit Wounds” following a compilation of their previously released songs on the collection “Songs for the Firing Squad.”

The songs on SeeYouSpaceCowboy’s new record are soundly structured, more so than any of their previous tracks. There is still an abundance of rapid-fire breakdowns and ever-changing dissonant chords. However, the way the band organizes verses, breakdowns and choruses feels more concrete. Most of the tracks on this album are also longer, supporting the solid framework of each song and the album as a whole. For me, this does take away from what I loved so much about their previously released songs.

I still greatly enjoy these new songs. They are notably fun to listen to and there are plenty of moments that touch upon the flare of pandemonium that stands out on the tracks on “Songs for the Firing Squad.” I just appreciate how much more deranged, erratic and short and to the point the songs from the compilation are.

Overall the band has slightly toned down their feeding frenzy sound. We do still hear moments that highlight the band’s belligerent intensity with the ending breakdowns of “Armed with Their Teeth” and “Prolonging the Inevitable Forever.” The entirety of “Disdain Coupled with a Wild Smile” and the first half of “Put on a Show, Don’t Let Them See You Fall” also showcase this quality.

Sadly, there are plenty of moments on this album where I catch myself thinking about how similar certain tracks sound, along with them sounding like a replication of tracks off of The Devil Wears Prada 2008 album “Plagues.” The similarities really stand out through SeeYouSpaceCowboy’s use of bouncy hammer-on, pull-off riffs, strikingly similar vocal styles and guitar tone. I greatly enjoy these crazy, dirty sounds but at times it sounds too spot on with the tracks on “Plagues.”

There are definitely positive tradeoffs that come with the band’s greater utilization of solid song structure. We hear some of their most emotional and melodic instrumental parts to date on tracks such as “With High Hopes and Clipped Wings” and “Late December,” and even tracks that have no vocals such as “A Space Marked “Escape”” and the highly dramatic “No Words, No Compensating Lies;” the 4 minute 30 second instrumental builds with passion before concluding with a guitar solo. The song sounds like a representation of an achievement that has required great work and effort.

The lyrics throughout the album embody what hardcore, at least to me, is all about; a violent, pissed off, unwillingness to assimilate — being yourself regardless of those who live to tear you down. Vocalist Connie Sgarbossa seems to challenge the oppressive politics and people of America. On the track “Armed with Their Teeth” she states, “This unrest will tear the chord, of oppressive automation, that produce the chains. The shackled wolves have these dreams of freedom, sink your teeth into your captor.” The lyrics throughout seem to be about anarchy, standing up against oppressors, showing them who you are through whatever means possible. In “Disdain Coupled with a Wild Smile” — “We'll bleed the ties of  their rule. Their destruction is our only means of salvation.”

My favorite tracks on the album are “Armed with Their Teeth” and “Put on a Show, Don’t Let Them See You Fall” due to their incredibly violent sounds and rhythmic chaos. I also greatly enjoy “No Words, No Compensating Lies;” the track is one of the most memorable even without lyrics.

I am not obsessed with “The Correlation Between Entrance and Exit Wounds.” I understand this is the band's debut album but I expected a more in-depth exploration of the elements that I thought made their compilation so great. Some of these new songs are still greatly entertaining to me and considering how much I love their previous material; I am excited to hear what the band has in store in the future.

I’ve been lucky enough to witness SeeYouSpaceCowboy in concert once already and am seeing them for a second time in October. If you are a fan of fast paced, aggressive, mosh music their performance on and off the stage is likely not to disappoint.

Tags: music review

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