Wednesday, September 3, 2008

lost in the sound of separation.

in the past year and a half or so, i've started to stray away from all that "hardcore" or "screamo" or whatever you wanna call it genre of music and moved on to other things, but there is still one band that stays true to my heart, and that band is underOATH.
every musical move they've taken has always been such a progression from what they had previously done, without detaching so far from what their values are as musicians. and although their line-up has changed multiple times throughout the years, their current members have produced three amazing albums, one of which came out yesterday; lost in the sound of separation.

i would only expect the best from them, and that's exactly what they've created.
although seemingly abrasive, spencer chamberlain's intense screaming isn't just jumbled words. each song has depth and meaning, and isn't about killing your friends or slitting your wrists just like every other dumb song in the genre.
while every song is deeply personal, they also reach out to the listeners while incorporating their religious values.
i'm not especially religious, heck, i don't even go to church every sunday, but it's not like underOATH are forcing religion and god upon their fans. it's simply an underlying message they want to be heard by conveying it through amazing music.
and they even say it themselves, they're not here to make us all extreme christians, they're here to create music that brings people together. they're open-minded young men who welcome anyone to enjoy their art.

i must say that the new album is a huge accomplishment. they have moved away from the cut copy sing-scream-repeat pattern.

no, this is not one of those albums with 15 minute songs that have 11 breakdowns each. it's quite more than that actually. yes, it shreds, but not in the sense that a guy picks up his 8 string guitar and moves his fingers up and down the neck for his 9 minute solo of uninteresting "post-metalcore" garbage while his obviously retarded fans bang their heads and beat the shit out of eachother.
underOATH actually have musical talent and are not afraid to use it when it comes to complex guitar riffs, pounding drums, vibe-y synths, a tough bass, and astounding vocals and lyrics to round it all out, and this is what the fans appreciate about them. underOATH create real, raw, music.

it starts out with the straight forward, in your face track "breathing in a new mentality," then throws you headfirst into "anyone can dig a hole." the whole middle of the album is what is expected of the band, which is by no means bad. not every track is immediately catchy, which i find to be better than radio crap that gets stuck in your head for months.
others may find this to be a downside of the album, when really it's a good thing. it'll get you to listen to the album over and over again to truly experience the depth and emotion of the band.

as the end of the album approaches, the songs slow down, and it comes to the track "too bright to see too loud to hear," an absolutely beautiful track where spencer and aaron both sing about getting home (throwback to "some will seek forgiveness??") and forgetting about the forgiveness that they're entitled to; a symbol of spencer's struggles in the world of drugs and depression and how all he wants is to get back to where he is safe - away from his "demons," which is an extremely prevalent theme throughout the entire album. though, this might seem like the closing track, it's not. there's one more track, "desolate earth: the end is here," that truly ends the album. although minimal on lyrics, it is another beautiful song, but i wasn't sure if that was necessary to have two slow songs at the end, but i will not deny that lost in the sound of separation is definitely a good record.
it can only be appreciated by those who actually listen to it.
even if you've never been a fan of the band, giving it one listen could really benefit you. you've got all to gain and nothing to lose. underOATH is truly inspirational. this is one of my favorite albums that came out this year for sure.

yesterday, i had the opportunity to meet the band and go to their album release show. i had only seen them once before about a year ago, at warped tour. frankly it was hard to enjoy because it was ridiculously hot out and i was on crutches, so this was a completely different experience.

but back track now ... the signing. surprisingly there were only about 50 people at the signing, which was good. and although i didn't get much time to speak to them, you just tell that they're all genuinely kind, and caring men. and a note to spencer, DON'T SHAVE YOUR MUSTACHE! i like it. aaron seemed to be sick. he was coughing non-stop and was hesitant to shake my hand because he had just coughed in it. i had no problem with that. i wasn't gonna wait years to meet them and NOT shake his hand.

here's a video i took of their entrance down the escalator.

the signing ended by 4:45, and we decided to head back to union square and hang out in b&n before the show.
at around 6:30, we walked around the block to irving, where we found a line that looped half way around the corner ... which is typical for "big" shows at irving. we were let in promptly around 7, and we snagged a spot on the left side, close to the stage. jill was weary about our spot considering the number 12 looks like you were first, and they're just all sorts of violent.
but to our surprise, the crowd wasn't bad at all. the band wasn't so great though. i do have to admit that jase is incredibly entertaining. scary but entertaining. he was climbing on everything, jumping off of things. here are a few photos of him on top of the wall right above me:

the next band were the red chord ... from boston. they were absolutely horrible, and it was quite apparent that not many people enjoyed them. they were a bunch of old guys with jesus hair playing nasty metal shit. no thanks.

last but certainly not least were underOATH. absolutely epic. i lost jill and gina early on, but found gina by the 4th song or so.
they didn't do many tracks from they're only chasing safety, which saddened us, because that meant they weren't gonna do "boy brushed red" ... a favorite track of ours. the crowd was rough, sweaty, but absolutely passionate about the band, which is what i look for from other fans. close to the end of the set, geoff rickly from thursday came out to sing with them, but i didn't even realize until they said "give it up for geoff rickly from thursday!" and that's when i jumped up and saw him leaving. they did an encore with two songs ... only two because they claimed they didn't want to keep us out too late because it was a school night. NOT FOR MEEEE!
after the show, we were sore and looked a hot mess. we chugged some water and left, intrigued and amazed.

btw, chris is cutting all his hair off.
he lost a bet or something?

the end.

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