Release DetailsLABEL Far Between Records
RELEASED ON 1/9/2006
Bricks For Shoulders
You Are, Therefore I Am
posted on 4/2006 By:
Playing NY hardcore, the duo collectively known as Bricks for Shoulders are, I feel, being pulled in two directions. If it were up to me, I’d have them opt for post-hardcore rather than ‘tude-fueled hardcore, but you’ll discover both styles riddle You Are, Therefore I Am. And like so many other albums that have come before, the well-written parts are superb, while the missteps are kind of embarrassing. After this 20-minute opus drops dead in its tracks though, I still feel like I’m being tugged in two directions.
This outfit is impressive insomuch as it’s comprised of only two people. Nevertheless, the production isn’t bad, except when the vocals are concerned. While they don’t echo necessarily, the vocalizations sound like they were recorded in a wide-open garage – the instruments retain enough rawness to blend in with everyday hardcore however, and I generally approve of the overall culmination. It’s true that opening numbers “You’ve Got to Be Kidding Me” and “Non Prescription Glasses and Your Star Tattoos” – yeah, the song titles are lame – are full-on hardcore anthems, although sometime during “Art and Narcissism” Bricks for Shoulders begin lacing their approach with modern post-hardcore shavings. I’m nary a fan of the clean shouts or the strained spitting, but I suppose the guys do what they can with what they have.
I was surprised to find a Pelican-esque post-rock instrumental on this disc – “Segway” [sic?] – and it’s ironically my favorite offering from You Are, Therefore I Am. On a sad note, the remainder is not nearly as enticing. Bricks for Shoulders address the usual topics and due to the blunt-yet-agonizing lyrics, a song such as “You Fill in the Blanks While I Load My .357” is just painful to sit through. Similarly, the drug-addled “End of Transmission” basically consists of LSD-powered wackiness and a distorted voiceover railing against haughty artists, which sounds as if it could accompany the most disturbing parts of Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, or any other movie referencing drug culture.
As I described, You Are, Therefore I Am is consistent only in its use of inconsistencies. Ranging from straightforward hardcore to post-hardcore to post-rock to what-the-fuck, Bricks for Shoulders aren’t content to straddle one style and stick with it. Unlike Yakuza, to cite just one of many examples, this music isn’t seamless, nor is it an improvement on the already-heard. And despite the proficiency, I had to walk away from this bewildered, confused as to why some of it was so good and some of it was so, well, you know.
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