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Cowards: Shooting Blanks and Pills

This album originally came out in 2012, leaving me to wonder why it is being reissued now. I know the band is gearing up for a new release and that this album is in need of a much wider audience; perhaps this release is just that—a reminder of what's come before and a shot in the arm for all those who missed the album the first time around.

I'm going to proceed as though this album is a new release. It's easier that way. For those who don't know Cowards, they are an extreme metal band from Paris, France and they play low-end sludge. The music on the album draws quite a bit on noise, anxiety, and despair. I thought the music was creative and eclectic, loud and disturbing. There's a strong element of hardcore at play here, mostly in the vocals, but also in the tendency toward sheer chaos. The songs mostly return to the same kinds of themes and musical qualities. The band is most surprising on the track "Scarce," mostly because it plays out different sides of the musical mood. One of the cool things about this band is that they have both long and short songs. I sometimes worry that bands like this won't be able to pull off longer tracks, given their preference for hardcore sludge / gloom. To me, this band thrives a bit more with longer songs; I think it's because the musical ideas and sounds they play with need time to develop and to work over the audience.

"Scarce" was easily my favorite track on this album. I also liked "Grand Failure." The other tracks are perfectly good but did not capture my interest in the same way these did. If you missed this band the last time around, this may be a good time to give them a go.

Track Listing:
1. Hoarse from the Get Go
2. Last Card
3. Scarce
4. Vices and Hate
5. Arrogant, Unseen
6. Grand Failure

Added: November 21st 2014
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1438
Language: english

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