Friday, May 26, 2006

Casket Architects - Dance on the Death Nerve CD Review

High school, at least in the midwest, is a grimy breeding ground for crappy bands which can't do anything other than cover “Brown Eyed Girl” over and over again, all the while trying to learn how to simply write one cohesive song. Amongst this limitless amount of talentless, hack bands there is occasionally a group of kids that come together to form a band which, actually, isn’t half bad (and can actually write their own songs). From that point -- the defining moment of realization in which they come to see they are better than their high school brethren -- the band usually goes through the “trying to hard” phase in which they attempt to outdo all of their influences. Teenagers are invincible and they know all. They can conquer the world. And it is only natural that this attitude seep into their creation process. It is this phase that Casket Architects feels like they are stuck in.

The band is far from being in high school, but throughout Dance on the Death Nerve you get the feeling that they are trying to mix together the Misfits, the Ramones, Converge, and Sonic Youth all the while showing that they are equally as good, while managing to meld all of these different styles simultaneously.

There is not so much a standard sound that the band possesses, and I refuse to refer to their style as “sci-fi deth rock” as they do on their website and press sheets. Instead you can feel the leanings and direction of each song individually. They do not possess a singular sound, but instead a grouping of sort of similarly sounding songs. For example, “Deftwitch” is a lean, classic punk song that puts on display their love of the Misfits. “Observer”, taking a much different direction, sounds like a mellow Every Time I Die with the noisy influence of Sonic Youth.

The reason that so many of their songs fall into one stereotypical, predominant influence is the brevity of each track. With only three tracks breaking the two minute barrier, the majority of the songs on here feel all too brief to properly develop into full-on, thought-out tunes. When they do expand to create something with a little substance, such as on “Casket Architecture” and “Solar Surgeon”, they come across as a really tight merging of classic punk and modern noise-core.

Given some time to develop themselves into a cohesive unit, instead of the amalgamation of hodge-podged influences and song pieces that they currently are, they could come out way ahead of the current underground, revitalized classic punk genre. Until then, however, they just don’t rise above what they are trying to emulate.

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