A horrible hack

The Saddest Landscape

The Sound Of The Spectacle

Year Released: 2003
Format: LP
Label: Coptercrash
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Jun 13, 2007
Ah, the Saddest Landscape. Purveyors of one the finest 7" I have heard all year, so here they are with an LP. And is it any good? Yes, it is definitely any good, yet at the same time I feel a tiny bit let down because it is not as amazing as I was expecting. And I can't quite put my finger on why - there are some great tracks on here, but for the most part I never quite find its flow. First track "Enough to Stop A Heart" being a prime example. It explodes out of the blocks with some intense guitarwork that is both chaotic and melodic, very Mohinder-y. Vocals are screamed and stuff, but suddenly it seems to lose it's way. And it ends out of the blue. There are other songs on here that follow a similar pattern. Then we have "We Were Dancing An Hour Before We Met" which seems to be everything at once. I love the September style twinkles on here, and the song blows me away at times yet also bugs me. During the same listen. Ack. Something else - I think the artwork is just dodgy. I guess it just doesn't fit my pathetic stereotype of how an emo LP should look, but that's my problem.

But whilst I whine about the couple of songs that don't do it for me, there are others that are drop dead great. "Wishlist for the Drowning" is an incredible mid-paced emo scorcher that finds the groove with quality to spare. Andy Maddox's vocals get more and more wrought as the song goes on, exploding into a killer finale of emo spazz. But the "wrought-ness" on that song pales in comparison to "...the Stars in January" which is some of the most over the top emo I have ever heard. I Hate Myself would have been proud of this one. The albums highlight though is the final song, "the Temptation that is You", which is just mesmerising from start to finish - one of those ultimate epic songs of the genre. Lengthy build up with guitar that just cuts deep, and drums that work the atmosphere. The pained vocals enter abrubtly, but the guitars and drums still spiral around to create a calamitous sound. If you ever rolled around on the floor to "Angry Son" then this is the song for you. Man alive, the quiet bit. STUNNING. The finale of the repetitious guitars and screamed vocals is equally so.

Mostly I like this LP, but it's almost like two different bands, like if Mohinder and Indian Summer collaborated on a split record and even had a few songs where one band played half of it and the other played the rest. I find it a bit disconcerting as I never quite get into a flow that I would expect to find on an album. Listen to a Yaphet Kotto LP or the Policy of Three album, the songs work together incredibly well. Yet this LP strikes me more as a a couple of amazing 7" singles rather than a collective whole that fits together. I am probably not making much sense. I rarely do, don't worry. So yeah - there are lots of very good songs on here (the final track is one of the best emo songs you will *ever* hear), they just aren't that cohesive. Next time. Next time.

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