Sunday, August 4, 2013

Review: Sail This Ship Alone - Coma

You may not want to believe this, but there is such a thing as 'too much of a good thing'. Thankfully, you never wind up hating the thing there's too much of, but you get frustrated, or sick, of it real quick. With Sail This Ship Alones new album, Coma, the frustration built very slowly.

S.T.S.A plays math-core, slightly reminiscent of The Dillinger Escape Plan, but a lot looser in terms of cohesion and a hell of a lot more chaotic. As where Dillinger has a slight melodic tone to their chaos, S.T.S.A sounds like one of their members started playing a song, and a bunch of talented nine year olds joined in on the jam session. A bunch of talented nine year olds who liked math-core that is. 

"Wrong Turns" sounds like the tightest song on the album, giving the chaos a sense of purpose. It has an unusual beat, even for a math-core song, and that made it that much more fun to listen to. Others like "Death Awaits" and "Amnesia" are solid tracks, really driving home the energy and sense of rhythm one needs to make music like this. In high school, I would often scoff at bands like this because of their nearly anarchistic ways of playing. Thankfully, I matured enough to understand the complexities it took to make hardcore like this possible. You have to have actual talent to play this kind of stuff.

Even with all their talent, S.T.S.A made me yearning for a bit more then they gave me. "Steppenwolf" and "Abort Self Destruction" are two tracks that are littered with too many things going on in them. Part of the allure of math-based hardcore is that there is this wall of sound that hits you when you listen to it, but it's not brutal. Its complexities are meant to be celebrated, and analyzed as you listen to them. Grindcore and speed metal are meant to be listened to for their brutality. Math-core, not so much, and that's something these two tracks did for sure.

This is a small example of what they do, but it's clear S.T.S.A has plenty going well for them. With Coma, they've established themselves as great musicians with promise, which, whilenot being the most glowing of reccomendations , is something worthy of notice. And you can never get enough of that. - Shane

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