Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 10/15/2006
The Hawthorne Effect
A Study In Motivation
posted on 10/2006 By:
Named after a pivotal experiment in social psychology, this Providence, Rhode Island progressive outfit makes short work of sidestepping numerous conventional lines of genres blending everything into a focused and direct EP. I know critics and publicists like myself love to laud almost every extreme music band as being uneasily pigeonholed and try to hide the fact that said band is in fact about as innovative as every other b-grade rip off on the block, and like an unfaithful lover that keeps begging for forgiveness, I promise this time it's different. It's not ever day you see me venturing timidly out of my corner of extreme metal to gloat about a heavily progressively minded metal band that has about as much in common to my usual forte as cats do with nuclear warheads.
Part of the foundation of their sound is a heavy leaning towards ideas heavily based in American metalcore but this is much more than the usual chuga chuga breakdown type hardcore, The Hawthorne Effect utilize more of the intelligible and slightly more inspired approach often coming off like a less schizophrenic Dillinger Escape Plan or infinitely more melodic Between the Buried and Me. But if this was the end of the line, we wouldn’t have that much to work with, amidst the implementation of four different singers fluctuating from throaty snarls and higher screams to emotional clean vocal lines, these guys pick up enough metal tendencies to show their affluence in the Death/Cynic side of things while simultaneously capitalizing on well placed polyrhythms and subtle experimentation mixed with odd timed melodic harmonies that easily bring the oftentimes critically underated Extol to mind.
One of the more interesting aspects of the band is their ability to throw away conventional song structures in favor of an approach that utilizes unpredicted shifts with more twists and turns than Daedelus’s labyrinth, but there’s a controlled chaos at work here rather than what might at first may seem like complete disarray. To their credit, it’s hard to have all these sporadic changes and multi-layered directional shifts coalesce into an almost completely unified musical statement. The extensive use of dynamic contrast and constructive variation is one aspect of The Hawthorne Effect that sets them apart from the rest of the pack that keep throwing out the same regurgitated ideas we've heard over and over again.
A Study in Motivation will be a hit or miss release for a good majority of our reader base. While not anything I’d call hard to digest, there is at the very least a seminal period of getting acquainted with the songs before anything begins to stick to the point that you can start singing along to The Hawthorne Effect on your way to the bus. It’s not everyday that this style appeals to me, but I’ve been moderately hooked since my initial spin of their debut EP a week ago and with regular improvement and shaping of their style I see no issue with these guys evolving into a rather remarkable band.
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