Release DetailsLABEL Do It For Rick Records
RELEASED ON 1/9/2005
posted on 4/2005 By:
This is actually pretty great. While I have absolutely no biographical information about this band whatsoever, they appear to peddle a chaotic, dissonant, impossibly dark and tortured brand of hardcore that really stands up to repeated listens. I definitely detect the mammoth groove of, say, an Ion Dissonance or Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza, the arty screamy moodiness of Envy, the discordant anguish of Petitioning The Empty Sky era Converge, an accessibility and energy that resembles Bless The Martyr-era Norma Jean and a general aesthetic that typified mid ‘90s hardcore, yet seems strangely forsaken in today’s epoch of Euro-mimicry. While not quite as accomplished or developed as any of the aforementioned bands, Ishia manage to create something wholly involving, enjoyable and cathartic with this three song demo.
For some inexplicable reason, track one on this demo didn’t work for me, so I’ll have to base my evaluation on the remaining two tracks. “South Carolina’s God Damn Haunted” starts off with an innocuously primitive and misleading punky rhythm, gradually introducing an awkward metallic guitar and sung vocal before taking a complete 180, transitioning into a MASSIVE, chugging breakdown of a Skinless-esque magnitude, complete with hoarse guttural vocals. Seconds later, the track shifts into an abrasive, spazzy Orchid freakout, only to settle into a monolithic Ion Dissonance groove and eventually a moodier passage that recalls the tormented contemplation of Misery Signals. Holy shit, how many fucking tempo shifts/riff changes/genre shifts are there on this goddamn thing? I could really do without the warbly clean vocals 02:30 into the track, as well as the fairly obvious chugging breakdown 03:13 into the track, but otherwise the schizophrenia of this one is really quite endearing, its hectic, restless nature appealing to my severe attention-deficiency. I love how this makes so many shifts without resorting to tech metal wankery. Top notch!
“Left Turn To Mauzy” is a LOT more blatant and linear than the track that preceded it, bearing a HUGE similarity to Acme and earlier Converge in its molten and chaotic riffage and genuinely unhinged feel. All the hallmarks of vintage early Victory, Equal Vision and Trustkill metallic hardcore is here- the stop-start dynamics, the dense, noisy textures, the sore-throated shrieks, the open chord chugging that somehow manages to avoid sounding cheesy or overtly deliberate. Sure, the sound may be a little played-out, but it’s delivered with plenty of gusto and bucketloads of unadulterated fury. There is a definite purity in the menace on offer here, and as many times as I’ve heard this style being propagated by Ishia’s predecessors, there is a manic honesty that froths to the surface throughout the 04:13 of this number.
So a bit of an oddball offering here, then- one bafflingly eclectic track and one strangely traditional one, both of which are reasonably strong. The production here is not so much exceptional as it is honest, it even SOUNDS like a mid ‘90s hardcore record, exuding an organic live feel that is very much appreciated by this reviewer. Sure, there are a handful of moments that are way too predictable for me, but you can certainly tell there’s a generous amount of heart in here, and in an age where artifice and pretension lurk in every crevice and recess, that’s really all I can ask for. While this may not be my bag of tricks, and has not been for a good number of years now, I look forward to hearing more from this band in the future.
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