Release DetailsLABEL Radar Recordings
RELEASED ON 1/31/2006
Blood Is Bright
posted on 6/2006 By:
It’s not immediately clear if Junius are staking an extremely tenuous claim to the outermost fringe of the expanding dirgecore scene or pushing the boundaries of the latest breed of new wave influenced acts like The Divorce and Nightmare Of You into much darker territory. My money would be on the latter but there’s a compelling argument for the former. Either way, this band is not easily classifiable which is always a plus in my book.
Not to get overly complicated but a distilled explanation of their sound could be described as a largely synth free, guitar driven indie rock version of darkwave. The tragic, goth like vocals, reverb drenched guitars and Cure like lead guitar work is all here but they wisely steer clear of any pop conventions. Their basic song structure, repeated throughout the four songs on this EP, starts out with a light bass and drum intro which is then liberally soaked in dueling reverb laden guitars that, while dark and edgy, give little hint of the oncoming storm. What could be mistaken for a dark Cure song up to that point is quickly pushed into a breathless maelstrom of furiously strummed chords, crashing percussion and moody guitar sub currents writhing just below the surface. At times, the sheer scope and somber, heavily layered atmospherics brings to mind the most aggressive moments of the late Juno who were equally adept at painting lush, melancholy soundscapes full of raw power such as these.
While the four songs are largely carbon copies of each other in basic approach “A Word Would Kill Her” stands out as the clearest example of what this band can achieve. Deep in another boiling cauldron of sound they take it one step further with a brief foray into heavily distorted guitars and tortured screamed vocals. It gave me a strong ISIS/Cult Of Luna feel and made me wish there was more than just a small glimmer of this sound. Conversely, I found myself drifting a little on “In The Hearts Of Titans” largely because it was missing any form of a big climax which, much like jacking off, sort of misses the point of the entire exercise. It’s still a strong song in its own right but this band has shown in a mere four songs that their strongest hand is the serene yet violent guitar/drum epic.
People could write this off as pretentious art rock or misguided darkwave but there are interesting parallels between their sound, in the form of contrast between light and heavy, somber and triumphant, and that of many of the best dirgecore bands. I wouldn’t be surprised to see fans of this genre being drawn to the eerie majesty of the songs presented here just as I was.
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