Hey look at that, it’s Monday. Around here, that can only mean one thing: it’s time for the “Signmeto” Unsigned Band of the Week! Just like I do every single Monday, without any exceptions ever*, I’ve gone to the “Sign Me to Roadrunner Records” website and checked out some of the bands there who are looking for people to review their music. I’ve picked out one of those, listened to the songs they’ve got posted, and now I’m writing about them here so that once again, YOU can discover some awesome new music.
*Okay, okay, okay, I lied. I missed last week. I was too busy travelling and visiting with relatives and junk like that over the Easter weekend, and didn’t have anything prepared for Monday. But that was just one time! It won’t ever happen again. Ever. But don’t quote me on that.
Anyway, that bunch of pissed-off looking dudes in cartoon character shirts, up above, are a band of mathcore hooligans from Istanbul, Turkey, called Chopstick Suicide. These guys recently released an album called Lost Fathers and Sons on the Turkish label Peyote Müzik, but nevertheless they do have a few of their songs available on the Signmeto Roadrunner Records website, and therefore they qualify as an Unsigned Band of the Week here on Valley of Steel, mostly because they are currently seeking a relationship with other labels to help distribute their stuff internationally.
Lost Fathers and Sons saw the light of day near the end of last month (29 March), following one earlier full-length and a pair of EPs from the band. Of the songs that can be found on their Signmeto page, two of them (“Television Television” and “Small People, Broken Glasses”) can be found on this latest release (tracks four and six, respectively, out of eight total). “Debugging the Homosapiens” is the third song at Signmeto, which was included on the 2010 album Loserville. The older song here demonstrates that the band has maintained a pretty consistently high quality to their songwriting, although there is a significantly noticeable improvement to the production/recording quality in the songs from the newer album. Both of those songs encapsulate a large part of what this band does (and what “mathcore” should represent) — aggressive, hardcore styles peppered with variations in the dynamics and tempo, with occasional accents of polymetric parts or syncopated rhythms that complement (but do not overshadow) the rest of the song structure.
There is also a new feature currently available on artists’ Signmeto Roadrunner Records profiles, and Chopstick Suicide’s page makes use of this: there is now a widget where you can check out the other songs on their albums and then purchase the digital editions of each (along with various other types of merchandise). This is pretty cool, because as of right now, I haven’t been able to find their album for sale anywhere else (at least, outside of the band’s home country). One drawback, though, is the fact that this widget only includes samples of the first thirty seconds of each track — just enough to start drawing you into each song and then leave you feeling empty and wanting more as it suddenly cuts off. I guess that’s not such a bad thing from a marketing perspective, though!
Unfortunately, though, listening to the samples on this particular album only gives you a small fraction of the whole story. Most of the songs start out in a pretty straightforward, classic hardcore style, but then branch off into various interesting directions from there. For example, several of the songs devolve into some pretty cool jazzy explorations between the bass and guitar, such as “Everyone Sleeps But Me,” “The Chalk and the Matter,” and “As I Lay Fail.”
Also, in various places throughout the album, they seem to draw a considerable amount of inspiration from some of the great shoegaze/screamo sounds of the mid-to-late-nineties, in terms of the vocal styles as well as the overall mood. The eight-minute-long “Your Average Hero” is probably the best example of this, and to me this song is one of the real highlights of the LP. A thirty-second sample of a song like this totally doesn’t do it any sort of justice, so I’d definitely recommend buying the full version. Or even better, pick up a copy of the CD when some label inevitably re-releases it with a wider distribution — surely somebody out there will make this happen sooner rather than later, I’d hope!
I hope you enjoyed this post – please feel free to share your opinion in the comments below! Until next week… if you happen to stumble across something you’d like to share (or if you are in a band and are trying to get your music heard), just write to me at my Signmeto “scout” page. Thanks for reading!