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Agoraphobic Nosebleed: Arc

I remember when the members of Kiss each released a solo album. At the time, it seemed very dramatic to me to look at the album covers and to realize that there was something else going on besides the collective efforts of the band members. Would the solo albums be good? What motivated this brief turn away from the entity known as Kiss? I opened with that memory because the members of Agoraphobic Nosebleed have decided to release a series of EPs meant to show off the influences and the tastes of each individual member. No, it's not the same thing as those (to me) very dramatic solo efforts by the members of Kiss, but it's nevertheless fascinating to think about what possibilities may come out of this band taking things in potentially different directions. It isn't clear, from the materials I have, whether this EP is meant to reflect one members' vision or if it's more of a teaser, an opening salvo in the war against conventional music.

The music, not surprisingly, is dark and crazy and intense. Kat Katz's vocals are as harsh as ever (maybe even harsher!) but they always sound clear; she has consistently great articulation, even if the lyrics remain mostly impossible to figure out without a sheet. No matter; this is music that pushes against convention and certainly isn't trying to please casual listeners who want an easy message or a sentimental idea.

I enjoyed this EP because it shows off a band that is even heavier and darker than usual. Even though the styles of each song differ slightly, every song is tight and well-constructed. Nothing seemed wasted, including in the longer track "Gnaw." With "Deathbed," the band showed off a doomier than expected side to its music. Solid and crushing, the track was the highlight of the three. I was also impressed with "Not a Daughter," a song that aggressively pushed against easy notions of identity. Similarly, "Gnaw" gives listeners some reflections about madness and the problem of understanding just who (or what) we are. "Gnaw" is also the most brutal of the three tracks; it closes out this release with little comfort and less hope. Ultimately, this is an impressive new release from a band that promises much more for interested fans.

Track Listing:
1. Not a Daughter
2. Deathbed
3. Gnaw

Added: January 14th 2016
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1851
Language: english

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