Music That Is Good is back for round two, as I’ve had a delightful musical week, listening to great album after great album. Today I’m bringing you some post-hardcore, a bit of tech metal and a power trio. If that doesn’t sound like a party you want an invite to then you’re probably in the wrong place. So, I’ll stop jibber-jabbering and get down to, well, jibber-jabbering, just about the topic rather than whatever is in my head.
Birds in Row – We Already Lost The World
Do you ever put on an album and think, yup this shit was made for me? That’s how I felt when I listened to Birds in Row for the first time (and no, the lack of a is not a mistake on my part). This is the kind of music that sounds like it was born alongside our old buddy Bane in the darkness, but when it comes out to play it is having a lot more fun with its dark nihilism than that bastard.
For in among the clear hardcore elements, opener ‘We Count So We Don’t Have To Listen’ is built around the intense vocals and screeching guitars, Birds in Row are also drawing from the likes of Nick Cave with a seam of dark indie running through these songs. ‘We vs Us’ is the first example of it as we suddenly switch to clean vocals and a swing is introduced to the music. Despite the toning back of the aggression, there is no doubt that it is the same band as the darkness is drawn out of them in less in your face ways. The song descends slowly into madness, leaving the swing behind as it goes.
Those two disparate elements come together to create something delightfully dark. It’s angry and frustrated, yet it almost revels in that sounds. Using it to fuel music that forces its way into your head and takes up root there. If you’re anything like me, you can’t listen to this album once. It needs to be repeated, providing a cathartic roar at the shitness of the world. Yea, as I said, it’s like it’s made for me.
Between The Buried And Me – Automata I & II
In a strange move, Between The Buried And Me decided that rather than releasing a double album, they were going to split said release in half and put them out separately. That might make sense if you’re Five Finger Death Punch and playing to a mainstream metal crowd, but for a band known for their technical metal, it’s been viewed with some scepticism.
And yet, I’m here to tell you why it worked. It worked for people like me. Someone who likes tech metal yet often struggles to find a way into it. Far too often I find myself intimidated by these albums and because of that, I put them away. This tactic meant that I had two half-hour pieces of music to digest, multiple months apart, which was a hell of a lot easier than trying to getting through the full hour-long experience.
Which in turn, has allowed me to fall for Automata I & II, two distinct albums that are so clearly part of a larger whole. Part one is the metal release. It’s breathtaking in its scope as in half an hour they manage to cram a ridiculous amount into its six songs before culminating in ‘Blot’ a ten-minute epic that throws the rest of the album into its shadow. Part two, meanwhile, somehow manages to make that experimentation look quite tame. The demented jazz-metal of ‘Voice Of Trespass’ is something that needs to be heard and if you have ever doubted Between The Buried And Me listen to that and then pick your jaw off the floor.
It’s all hinged together by a story that bears similarities to The Truman Show and guides you through the dream world of this music. If I’m honest, I still feel like a lot of tech metal goes over my head. However, that doesn’t stop me sitting back and marvelling at what these bands do. Sometimes you don’t need to understand something, appreciating its magic is more than enough.
Camp Cope – How To Socialise & Make Friends
This past Sunday I was in a right grump. Sleep had been a struggle over the last couple of nights, so all I really wanted to do was go to bed to feel sorry for myself. However, I had a gig booked in Glasgow, so rather than doing that I had to catch a train blah, blah, blah. It can all be summed up by saying I was not in the mood.
That was until Camp Cope wandered onto the stage. At that moment, the grumpiness vanished and the trip became worth it. I got into How To Socialise & Make Friends earlier this year and from the first listen I was hooked, drawn in by the raw honesty that pervades this power trio’s music. It’s an honesty that fuels the anger of ‘The Opener’, the heart wrench of ‘The Face Of God’ and the mourning of ‘I’ve Got You’. You believe every word that comes out of Georgia Maq’s mouth. Plus, underneath that emotional upheaval, these are fucking great songs. Shove them on, let the lyrics wash over you, and you’ll be just as impressed as the person raising their fist in the air alongside Camp Cope.
The question of where all the political bands have gone is one that seems to come round now and then. Musicians like Camp Cope continue to show how big a dumbass you have to be to ask it. This is an album that will inspire a whole new generation of young people (and in particular girls) to pick up a guitar and raise up their voice. They are out there, and we need to grab hold of them, cherish them and push them as hard as we can. Camp Cope have something to say, if we’re smart we’ll give them the platform to say it.