A horrible hack

Desert City Soundtrack - Settlefish - Sounds Like Violence


Year Released: 2004
Format: CD
Label: Deep Elm
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Jun 13, 2007
This is a neat concept from Deep Elm, stick a bunch of bands on your label on the same CD so that people can get a feel for them over a couple of tracks rather than just one that's on a comp. On this one we have the excellent Desert City Soundtrack, Settlefish (I sold the singer in this band a Three Mile Pilot 12” at a gig the other day, so he has great taste at least) and the poorly named Sounds Like Violence.

Sounds Like Violence's offering is really not oop my alley. The music is spoiled by the nasal outbursts of their vocalist, they get right up my nose (guffaw). He's all “waah waah waah SCREAM!”. Furchrissakes. It's like he knows he's no Jeremy Enigk so he just exaggerates it into this comedy style. “Push You Up the Stairs” (oh spare me the emo) is quite a rocking number with a driving rhythm, it's just completely spoiled by the man with a sock up his nose on vocals.

Settlefish didn't really excite me live but their post-hardcore efforts were far from offensive. Fairly enjoyable if non-descript if the truth be told (and you wouldn't want me to lie now would you), the first song is a bit repetitive with strained singing and a weird breakdown where they sound a bit fitful. Babbles on about dancing, makes me think of Braid. Nice enough. “Who Placed the Dots on Dyslexia” is a rhythmical and sassier effort that doesn't appeal to me. Probably similar to some band on Dischord. Their final track starts off in a nice downbeat mode, with subtler vocals and unsettling guitars that sound like they are about to explode and rock out. It never does. Nice song.

Desert City Soundtrack have been reviewed on these pages twice before, and I really enjoyed both efforts that they puked up. The first song on here, “Send Your Soldiers to the Killing” is a dark and brooding number (which is something you could say about most of their songs), layering piano and smooth bass with spazzy vocals that could have come from a mid 90's Gravity band. Three Mile Pilot meets Antioch Arrow? Cripes. Ok, so that will create some unattainable expectations, but the song is pretty cool nonetheless. They then come back with the slow and meandering “January's Loss” that starts off in a pit with horn and stark guitar. This is more in the direction of the straight up Three Mile Pilot material that they have been doing before. Piano, slow builds and crescendos. Pretty good.

Overall, a good taster for 3 different sounding bands.

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