A horrible hack

We Were Skeletons

Blame & Aging

Year Released: 2012
Format: LP
Label: Topshelf Records
 
Reviewed by Kjetil Holstad on Nov 5, 2012
I know I never should take band-descriptions written by labels too seriously, but when Topshelf records manage to namedrop Fugazi, Shotmaker, Hot Snakes, Slint, Sleepytime Trio and Off Minor over just a couple of sentences I have to admit I was intrigued to what this might be, as the band itself was utterly unknown to me.

What at least 5 of the bands mentioned have in common is a strong presence of urgency in their music, something I do not sense too much in the music of We Were Skeletons. I definitely understand where the references are coming from and the similarities are in place at times. Especially later Off Minor with the way the bassist plays and interacts with guitar(s) and the overall sound of the album (Recorded by no other than Will Killingsworth of Orchid/Ampere). It also sports a lot of the mathy elements that can be found in a lot of the early 90s Louisville bands.

Looking beyond the references, We Were Skeletons definitely have something going for them. The three guys clearly know how to play and showcase this craftsmanship throughout the album. With four instrumental pieces spread across the album, it’s obvious that they are confident in their own skills. The album opening with ‘Ruined / Wasted and ‘Long Night’ leans more towards classic screamo than the longer and more mellow songs later in the record, but it’s within the longer and more mellow songs like ‘King of Tricks’ and ‘Slow Death’ the band is at their most interesting and is closest to achieve the urgency the album as a whole is somewhat lacking. The vocals range from low talking to shouts to more screams of despair bringing a lot of dynamics into the music and coupled with the dynamic flow of the record itself just adds to the experience.

I feel We Were Skeletons have more in common with bands like Daniel Striped Tiger and Kidcrash than the references the label wants them to be compared to. I definitely enjoyed listening to this record and the overall dynamic of the album makes sure that the 40+ minutes never gets boring. I can envision listening to this a lot more but it will sadly not reach the heights of any of the namedropped references.


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