“Ok, 3…2…1. Let’s jam.”
And jam listeners shall as myriads of noisy, erratic riffs are strewn about feverishly in each direction on SeeYouSpaceCowboy‘s new release, Fashion Statements of the Socially Aware. This rambunctious nine-minute record delivers six tracks that pay homage to the math-grind of the Myspace era with its extreme volatility, noisy structures, skull-crushing breakdowns, ridiculous song titles and sass. This style of extreme music has been making a quiet comeback in recent years and while this particular California band don’t necessarily bring anything to the table, they definitely do it more viciously than most.
If one were to mix early Daughters, Heavy Heavy Low Low, The Blood Brothers and practically every cheeky mathcore/grindcore/post-hardcore band of that era together, they would get a sense of what SeeYouSpaceCowboy is trying to accomplish.
The band’s guitar work on this record is damn near maddening. Listeners are barraged with an array of riffs, rife with angularity and dissonance, that bend, slide, chug and squeal during these six, extremely brief tunes. These six-string acrobatics are accompanied by pummeling and unpredictable drumming that rivals the guitar work in terms of complexity. The icing on this chaotic cake are the menageries of vocals, which range from venomous screams, hoarse growls and bratty whines and wails.
Sliding, noisy chords, serpentine dissonance and simplistic, tension-building drumming open up the record on “An Introduction for People Who Hate Introductions”. After about 30 seconds of this ear-splitting buildup, the track explodes into a final bombardment of flesh-ripping, angular riffs and hellish vocals. This leads directly into the punishing “Jimmy Buffet Doesn’t Even Surf”, which begins with a cacophonous whirlwind of buzzing riffs, which will make the listener feel as if they are trapped in a swarm of hellspawned hornets. The track cycles back and forth between these hyper-speed, noisy chords and mosh-worthy breakdowns throughout its rowdy, 68-second runtime.
These two tracks feature the basic blueprints for what this record has to offer, but SeeYouSpaceCowboy gleefully add a bit of flair here and there to ensure the effort doesn’t sound like a complete blur of noise. In between “Pep Talk From a Nihilist”‘s spastic grind and disemboweling breakdowns, the band employ drug-induced hazes of bouncing, almost danceable interludes spearheaded by whiny shouts and monotone rambling. Then there’s the jazz-adjacent, clean guitar romp that makes up the bulk of the album’s title track, which also bookended between two sections of aural chaos. There’s plenty of twists in turns throughout this hyperactive release to keep listeners engaged and bleeding.
Fashion Statements of the Socially Aware may be incredibly short, but it packs enough punch to have listeners picking their teeth off of the floor by the time it concludes. Those looking for some truly ridiculous and hard-hitting songwriting will have to look no further.
Release Date: June 3, 2017
Favorite Tracks: “Jimmy Buffet Doesn’t Even Surf” and “Absolutely Absolute Absolution”
For Fans Of: Heavy Heavy Low Low, Fear Before the March of Flames, Me and Him Call It Us, Duck Duck Goose and Daughters