Saturday, October 15, 2011

Keyes - 2011 Therefore/Without

Band : Keyes
Album : Therefore/Without
Release Year : 2011
Genre : Post-Hardcore | Ambient | Screamo

Tracklist :
01. States Makes Good
02. Cities of Fog with Nothing to Love
03. Snowglobe
04. Eleanor Lamb
05. Moon Follow Me

Keyes is a screamo band from san diego, ca. The record was presented to me as the product of influences from bands like Moving Mountains and Touché Amore, and as you'll probably agree, that's already a good enough reason to check something out. Upon listening to the disc, I would probably replace Touché Amore with La Dispute, but of course that doesn't make all that much of a difference. The emphasis is that this band has made it their mission to blend abrasive skramz with tranquil signature riffage and tremolo riffing from the realm of post-rock.

There are really five tracks on offer, but the opening "States Makes Good" is merely an atmospheric piece of ambience, which only lasts 46 seconds before we get down to business with "Cities of Fog with Nothing to Love". The song stands out by starting nice and quiet with subtle guitar-work and soulful clean vocals alá As Cities Burn, only to build nicely into urgent screams and a more frantic melody, before fading back into a quiet one which ends the track and leads into the next song. This one, titled "Snowglobe", consists of exactly the same elements, merely rearranged with different dynamics and tempo, and as it soon turns out on the last two songs, "Eleanor Lamb" and "Moon Follow Me", this is the formula the band is working with so far.

It's not exactly rocket science, and while there's a solid dynamic going on between the screams and the cleans, the latter of which provide some nice and memorable refrains in especially the first two songs, the songwriting is, as I hinted in the beginning, not quite top notch at this point. And that's pretty much the scoop on this early taste of what Keyes are working on. If you enjoy La Dispute or similar skramz revivalist bands, then Keyes surely has something to offer you, and the post-rock parts and clean vocals also provide an intriguing twist to their sound. That alone should be enough to catch the eye of declared genre-aficionados, even while I would personally like to see a little more coherent and intricate songwriting before I really break out the hype. -TL

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