We get promos coming in from all over, and sometimes the press materials proudly proclaim that a new group is made up of people from other groups that i have never heard of. Let's face it, there are lots of bands all over the place, and no one person can know about all of them.
For example, Braidedveins is a new band from Flint, MI that consists of members of Empty Orchestra, The Swellers, Kid Brother Collective, and The Conqueror Worm. Never heard of any of them, but i have to admit that "The Conqueror Worm" is a pretty cool name for a band. Were these all local Flint, MI acts? Is The Conqueror Worm a Dune-themed act? (Brendan's note: The Conqueror Worm was actually the American title of a 1960s Vincent Price film.) Who knows! It's not really important, but since i read a lot of press releases, this is something that i notice.
Apparently, this is a five-piece act. The only i know about these people is that they are named Brandon, Chad, Jonathan, Ryan, and Stephen. I can't find information on who plays what or which member used to be in The Conqueror Worm. But i am curious because i want to know who does what: do they have a dedicated singer, or do they have three guitars, or two bassists, or a guy who programs the samples in the songs? I guess it's not really too important to my enjoyment of the music, but i am curious.
And this is a very enjoyable release. These five guys really know what they are doing. The album takes heavy hardcore punk and wraps it around a spastic math-rock core, which is a lot like what Atlanta heroes The Purkinje Shift do, except Braidedveins are more punk than math, while Purkinje are the other way around.
This is a stomping album, the band tearing through seven tracks in about 15 minutes. It's not long, but it's high quality.
Watch Carefully kicks things off with a squealing guitar and some thudding drums, then the vocalist bellows by. It's all over so fast, and they you are in How Did You Imagine the End? which is a minute and a half long, just flying by in a frenzy of guitars and odd beats.
Some Fundamental Questions on the Nature of Being is a see-sawing song, the guitars grinding up and down, the drum a fast monotone beat. This is the most Purkinje-like song here.
They slow it down, a little, for The Future Lasts Forever, where the voice is distorted and gaspy, no doubt worn out from the previous tunes. This slower effect reminds me of Soundgarden. I guess slowing down their fury makes it a little poppier. The Nature Cruise of the Century! continues the relative slowness, the guitar really shining here with great, catchy riffing.
Braidedveins get their anger back on for On the Limits of Tomorrow. The band just tears through this in an epic 2:18 (note: it is the third longest song on the EP!). This reminds me of the harder moments of From Monuments to Masses with a little Parts and Labor thrown in. I like the way the guitar just grinds along while the vocalist screams "Do you ever wish that you were dead?" over and over. Heavy stuff.
And finally we close the EP off with To Whomever Finds This Document:, which is 4:04, almost a Mogwai-an epic for these guys. The voice speaks the verses, and then angrily yells on the chorus. The guitars grind back and forth while the rhythm chugs. A pretty cool song which eventually dissolves into feedback and an old sample...
This is really cool and i like what Braidedveins are doing. It's fast, angry, aggressive, and i know that will not appeal to many people. But if you like that, then this little EP is a fine choice.