Saturday, March 26, 2011

Verse En Coma - 2008 Rialto

Band : Verse En Coma
Album : Rialto
Release Year : 2008
Genre : Emo / Indie / Post-Hardcore
Tracklist :
1. Through Ice Patches and Pine Trees
2. Disappearing Glaciers
3. In a Factory
4. Tiny Speakers
5. DCC Cassettes
6. Bonus Track

Verse En Coma represents Malady and City of Caterpillar's future. Featuring 3/4ths of the original City of Caterpillar line up as well as 3/5ths of Malady, 'Rialto' was a record most have been looking forward to for a very long time. In early 2006 with the release of the track 'Young Ones' (which has now been renamed as 'In a Factory) it was obvious that Verse En Coma was clearly tonally in line with Malady. What Verse En Coma does differently though is remove the post-hardcore sounds that are present in Malady and instead embraces the more alternative and grungy side of that band. Saying that Richmond and its surrounding areas are essentially playing grunge filtered post-rock is certainly not going to win them any new admirers, but I'm sure the bands could really care less.

Verse En Coma is a lyrical reminiscent journey that is in sharp contrast to Malady's themes. Malady represented the desolation of the rural nature of areas like Richmond where Verse En Coma embraces that nature and happily plays in fond memories of growing up in those areas. 'In a Factory' perfectly accents this telling the story of two lovers who find love at a small workplace with the band seemingly celebrating their rebellious blue collar nature. Malady's other half went on to join the group Pygmy Lush who certainly sonically represent Neil Young and Bob Dylan much more than Verse En Coma, but the lyrical themes of Verse En Coma are so strongly reminiscent that the group seems to be clear fans of the heart on sleeve styles of Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.

In terms of Verse En Coma sonically, think Malady yet much softer. The strong shoegaze influence that Malady brought to the City of Caterpillar sound is present with Verse En Coma, but the places where the band should break heavy are replaced by even prettier sections like the conclusion of opener 'Through Ice Patches and Pine Trees'. 'Tiny Speakers' has a beautiful group vocal section that adds an even more intense layer to its conclusion. A key part that makes the sound of Verse En Coma a successful change is Ryan Parrish whose drum performance on 'Rialto' is absolutely amazing. The plodding post-punk of 'Disappearing Glaciers’ is cut extremely well with Parrish essentially playing fills over the entirety of the verse. His heavier more dynamic playing on 'In a Factory' makes that track such a successful anthem.

Without the return of Parrish to this trio of players its doubtful Verse En Coma's new sound would sound as good as it does. On other important sound adjustments the guitar playing here is much more airy than Malady. Malady's debut had a strong devotion to riffs where as Verse En Coma sees the band instead playing hardcore tainted post-rock instead of the other way around. What is most surprising is that by switching to less hardcore oriented music that band has become even more unique with their only comparison in my mind being 2008's critical darlings Have a Nice Life. I guess the sound that Verse En Coma and Have a Nice Life both share comes from both bands having members that were previous involved with post-hardcore projects and are now attempting to do something that is more alternative and punk based. Whatever is the case 'Rialto' is a fine example of how to make an alternative rock record.

No comments:

Post a Comment