Indie. Passion. Art. Music.
While the modern hardcore landscape becomes overpopulated by copies of copies of Sleeping with Sirens and Pierce the Veil, we can all take solace in the fact that there are a few bands who totally eschew everything that it means to be an Alternative Press band of the minute. Yawn. If their début LP didn’t already do so, please, allow me to introduce you to Brock Landers.
This group could be easily described as the North American analogue to the band Lisabi. Of course the easy road is overrated and this is a review, so statements have to be backed up by facts ; Brock Landers is not squarely focused in any genre in particular, which is a drawing point, and yet its easy to tell what influences and informs their asymmetrical, dynamic sound: jazz. They may be young, but don’t let that fact lull you into a false sense of assuming that these guys are just screwing around and accidentally playing within a genre that takes its musicianship extremely seriously .
There is a curve-ball to the music in that it isn’t just something that many will be able to pick up and start listening to, in fact, it tends to be rather jarring and polarizing upon an initial listen, but that’s what great works tend to do (just wait till you read my thoughts on Eraserhead). From the post hardcore inspired vocals to the jagged chord progressions and irregular time signatures, Brock Sanders is clearly trying to distance themselves from many of their peers, and everything about their style points to their iconoclastic tendencies.
The vocals, both clean and screamed, are decent and this is especially impressive when you consider that on most bands’ début LPs the vocals tend to be weak (i.e Stolas Allomaternal > Stolas Living Creatures). The instrumentation can’t be talked about enough; suffice to say, these guys know their way around their particular weapon of choice. The song titles are all easily identified as the result of many an inside joke, so if that’s a thing you hate you might want to skip reading the titles and just listen to the music. But for my money both of the “Squintin Tarantinos” are reason enough to listen to the album if not buy it.
The variation from track to track is also worth noting; take “Jmc 1: Melt Man” for instance , a song which can easily be described as post rock yet the song that follows, “Mali,” is something that would make the Fall of Troy blush in its intricacy. It’s jumps like these that keeps the album from going stale or drearily coasting along a highway of monotony. The album maintains a sense of balance and never leans to heavily on calmness or intensity, yin and yang.
To be blunt, this album is really fucking good. There is a palpable sense of exploration and experimentation on Introducing Brock Landers but there is never a sense of dysfunction or happenstance, every bit of discord is orchestrated and intended to make you question your personal feelings towards what “good” music should sound like. Brock Landers plays with conventions; they jump from melodic to dissonant and still manage to be listenable which is something to be lauded in and of itself. Make no mistake this album is every bit as crazy –if not more– as you may expect it should be but don’t let that stop you; upload this to your computer and throw your ear drums a home wrecking Project X styled party.
Favorite Tracks: Squintin Taratino Pt 1 & 2, Seven Dollars and a Biscuit, JMC 1: Melt Man