A horrible hack

Memory as Perfection - Scent of Human History


Year Released: 2004
Format: LP
Label: McCarthyism Records - Waking Records
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Jun 13, 2007
This is a a pretty solid split of emo type shenanigans from both bands. Memory as Perfection start things off with five tracks, breaking in with a very nice and moody intro that recalls various noodlings from the mid 90's, before it takes it up a notch (BAM!) and adds angry shouted vocals over the hammered out rhythms. They mix things up with the subtler moments taking on a jazzy feel, before they accelerate into the more erratic noisy parts. Listening on headphones the drums seem to dominate the sound a bit on some songs, with the guitars sounding a little thin, which kind of detracts on the crunchier parts such as on "Motive", a track which brings to mind Native Nod with it's brooding grooves and pained vocals. That could well just be my stereo set up though. "Broken Spirit" is a standout track for me, with some really well played breakdown parts mingling (the pretty guitar sound and rhythmical drumming mix to great effect) with the more urgent moments. I think their side actually gets better as it goes along, reaching it's crescendo on the pounding "My Grandfather Was A Butcher", which spills it's emo guts all over the floor amidst the yelled vocals and forceful drumming. This is not bad overall for the genre, and it's always good to hear new bands fiddling with the mid 90's sound, even if they don't quite live up to what has gone before.

Scent of Human History has a good pedigree, containing members of Sometimes Walking, Sometimes Running (their split 7" with the Insurgent is class), and they contribute four songs of screamy emotion that hits it's thumping groove from the get go on the pulsing "the Choice Unchosen". This one really finds it's feet very quickly and hurtles me into a smart spazzout with it's melodic buildups and breakdowns. It's a pretty lengthy track, good stuff. They vary the sound with the full on screaming and faster guitars of "Take Your Time With Time", though again it has a sad and slow breakdown part where they get introspective and twinkle the guitars. Things carry on in a furious way on the third song, the kind of Funeral Diner-esque "Change Melts Away". OH THE PAIN, the singer is crying to bits and the guitars are all suitably played for the style of music. The final song has a long and meandering build up but then it suddenly goes nuts with this guy just going RAA RAA RAA!!! for the heck of it. Kind of like Staircase. They did that. I think it defeats the object of playing an awesome intro and to suddenly freak out into a song rather than almost impercertibly shifting from one style to the other but what do I know. It's pretty good anyway, so I shouldn't complain.

Solid split all told, SoHH sounded more like they had their shit together but Memory as Perfection sounded like they could make a pretty amazing record someday.

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