A horrible hack

Benard - Worn in Red


Year Released: 2008
Format: 7"
Label: No Breaks - Alaska Records
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Aug 31, 2008
I think I saw this split mentioned somewhere as having two bands in the vein of Four Hundred Years. Now that kind of comment is always going to have me intrigued. A quick investigation of the Myspace sites of each band led me to ordering the single, it sounded promising. Does it live up to it?

Starting with with Worn in Red we have one long song entitled "Vital Joys". The music does fit with the above description - hardcore with a brooding edge, guitars that moodily repeat with the expectation that things are going to explode sooner or later. Unfortunately for me though, I don't really like the vocals. They are screamed in quite a piercing fashion, perhaps too high in the mix and prominent for this style, a nice break into out of breath talking would have worked but instead it's mostly relentless. If you do like the vocals though, then you're set. The song itself is well constructed, veering between the down-tempo, contemplative parts and the times when things get a lot more intense. If you like stuff like Four Hundred Years and Portraits of Past, you should at least check this out.

Benard, however, knock my socks off. They have this style down pat, a blitzkrieg of grooving bass, rolling drums and spot on, desperately shouted vocals. If you go nuts for the likes of Bailer or Sleepytime Trio then this pair of stormers will go down a treat. They hit the emo groove with a furious intensity and pause only briefly to let everything catch up again. Only disappointment really is that there doesn't appear to be any lyrics in this record, and Benard's song titles suggest they are a little "wacky", which I am kind of bored of to be honest. I'd like to know what they are getting worked up about, as musically this is absolutely on fire.

If you're a little bit upset by the lack of noisier emo out there these days, then I think this 7" will be just what the doctor ordered.
Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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