A horrible hack

Alcatraz

discography

Year Released: 2000
Format: CD
Label: Stonehenge
 
Reviewed by Alex Deller on Jun 13, 2007
Records like this always make me want to launch into a derisory critique of large chunks of the current 'emo' scene - no winsome songs about breakups, no catchy melodies or bouncy guitar lines and not a skinny-fit Deep Elm t-shirt in sight, yet more emotional than a dozen Sunny Day plagiarists.

Alcatraz had what could typically be described as 'that French emo sound', falling into the same ballpark If as the likes of Cather Matha, Peu Etre et al. This means vocals are passionately screamed with the odd spoken part, guitars range from quietish jangles to jarring chaos and we're blessed with occasional jazzy breaks from the drum department. Now and then a trumpet and a violin rear their heads to add a bit of variety, and it's all very noisy. Lots of heart, lots of feeling and a bloody big racket all round. The packaging, also, is awesome, comprising a 60-page booklet with translations for the lyrics in English and what I'm guessing are Spanish and Italian. Then there's artwork and lengthy explanations that cover everything from anti-capitalist spiel to the perceived crumminess of the current punk scene.

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