CURSE THE SON ‘Isolater’ Review, Stream & Title Track Official Video

Curse The Son

Isolator – Vinyl // CD // DD

Ripple Music – Release Date: April 7th, 2017

 

Connecticut’s Curse The Son return with their Ripple Music debut, “Isolator“, on April 7th and it might just be their best release yet. That’s a bold statement when you think how critically well-received earlier releases like the Globus Hystericus EP, Klonopain and Psychache were. But, as the old saying goes, the proof is in the pudding and Isolator is a tasty blend of doomy, riff-driven music and somewhat tortured vocals. The latest incarnation of Curse The Son sees founding guitarist/vocalist Ron Vanacore alongside returning drummer Michael Petrucci and newest bassist Brendan Keefe. Together the trio wield elements of hard Stoner Rock and pepper it with variances of Psychedelia and touches of Sludge occasionally. In fact, multifaceted aural textures permeate everything present here, it’s what Isolator is all about really and the idea seems to be to push the envelope as far as the band can.

That push begins with the thick riffs and rhythmic rumbles of the album opening title track, ‘Isolator‘, as it gains forward ground with a slower but assured advancement. Chugging guitars and the tight knit rhythm section deliver a hypnotic behemoth as is evidenced in the official video above. That’s followed by the full-on doom heaviness of ‘Callous Unemotional Traits‘ and its seeming Black Sabbath ‘Who Are You‘ inspired formatting. Riffery resonates amid the din of crushing content and the airy elements within parts of the vocal presentation. My current favorite is up next as ‘Sleepwalker Wakes‘ unfurls yet another exercise in downtrodden doom but such is augmented with some killer, airy nods in the verses. Those nuances are ratcheted up rather nicely on ‘Hull Crush Depth‘, another heady foray into slow-grooving, semi-blues territory with tinges of psychedelia. The burly isolated bass lines provide the real fuel here, keeping everything locked down with some teeth-rattling bottom end. The rumble and rattle returns with ‘Gaslighter‘ where the guys revel in the song’s choppier chunks and trippy vocals. ‘Aislamiento‘ soon busts in with some monstrous riffs before relenting to some hazy tones and one of the album’s best vocal performances in my opinion. The song’s take on stoner-fied Fuzz Rock is great stuff while the song’s drum work is stellar on so many different levels too. The battering bass lines return in the intro to the album-ending ‘Side Effects May Include…‘ but soon they are rolling right along with the song’s sludgened undertones and bleak vibes. One could say this is grunge for those poor souls of the hopelessly damned and sure, the tempos may increase at times but perhaps the ending commentary says it all as one voice states: “That’s fucking ridiculous,” and then is answered by, “That’s fucking rock and roll, right there.”  Indeed it is, indeed it is.

On a related note, Curse The Son has rarely ever played outside their home vicinity of Connecticut, if at all. That will soon change as the band will undertake some periodic live excursions starting in early May, ones that will see shared performances alongside acts like Pale Grey Lore, Brimstone Coven, The Obsessed, Lo-Pan, Eternal Black, Clouds Taste Satanic, Wasted Theory and more on the following dates:

May 4th – Buzzbin Shop, Canton OH (w. Pale Grey Lore & Goosed)
May 5th – Howlers, Pittsburgh, PA (w. Brimstone Coven)
May 6th – TBA
May 19th – The Outerspace Ballroom, Hamden, CT (w. The Obsessed, Karma To Burn and Lo Pan)
June 1st – Ralph’s Rock Diner, Worcester, MA
June 2nd– Shakeen, Manchester, NF (w. Thunderhawk and more TBA)
June 3rd – TBA
July 20th – Lucky 13, Brooklyn, NY (w. Eternal Black, Clouds Taste Satanic and Mantis Mass)
July 21st – Kung Fu Necktie, Philadelphia, PA (w. Wasted Theory, The Age of Truth and Goat Wizard)
July 22nd – Guido’s Speakeasy, Frederick, MD (Sludgement Day Festival)
August 25th– Cherry St. Station, Wallingford, CT (w. Sea Of Bones and Come To Grief)

Words by Patrick “Riot” Whitaker


Album Review – Sorority Noise “Joy, Departed”

Sorority Noise

Joy, Departed

Topshelf Records – Vinyl / CD / Cassette / DD

When I saw Sharon Van Etten play to perhaps 30,000 souls at a festival in Kentucky, she unabashedly announced from the stage that she is very serious about her feelings.  That’s one of the many things that enamors her to me, though the list goes on and on. I’d like to take this time to unabashedly announce that she’s my celebrity crush.  Perhaps if I write a review that’s intriguing and interesting enough, she’ll one day become aware of my precarious existence and think to herself, “Hey, that guy is pretty cool for a supposed critic.  Andy Dingus Beresky seems like a guy who gets things done.  I wonder what makes him tick.  I wonder if he’d be interested in knowing what makes me tick.”

Of course, it’ll never work out between us, as she lives in Manhattan, and I’m motherfriggin’ country mouse as it comes.  Last time I was in Manhattan I had a full-fledged meltdown when I was stuck on the subway in the dark for an hour.  This ended with me sitting down and crying on a crowded subway car one fine May morning, and this did elicit an unexpected outpouring of empathy from the normally stoic New Yorkers who shared in my plight, though seemed so utterly unphased by the incident.  When I finally emerged from that underground nightmare, I’d missed my bus and chose to alleviate my woes with an expensive beer and cheap sushi at 10AM.  All’s well that ends well, I suppose, and maybe someday, my morning will end with Miss Van Etten and I sharing AM beers and sushi while we stare longingly into each other’s eyes.  I wonder if she even likes sushi??  Wow. I’m suddenly acutely aware that I’ve derailed this review from the very get-go.  That’s a new one even by my own admittedly low standards.

 

Great Band Shot

 

I bring this all up simply because Sorority Noise also strike me as being very serious about their feelings.  Actually, I’ll recant that statement ever so slightly, as I’m sure there’s a bit of tongue in cheekiness to Sorority Noise’s lyrical approach.  I mean, the first lines sung on the album are “Let me be the drug, that you use to fall in love, the heroin that keeps you warm enough” from the aptly titled lead track, ‘Blissth.’  Sure, that’s kind of sweet and romantic from a somewhat somber and morbid perspective, so I can relate to the underlying sentiment.  Still, it’s too over the top to be totally serious.

Sorority Noise is a four piece outfit from Hartford, Connecticut. They name check a bunch of bands that I’ve never heard as influences, such as Roswell Kid, Pinegrove, Modern Baseball, and Led Zeppelin.  Oh wait…I HAVE heard Led Zeppelin a couple times, and the two sound nothing alike.  The most obvious analogy to me is Weezer, who are a pretty straight forward rock band with obvious indie influence and emo appeal, though the big sound and clean production of their albums obviously sets them apart from the aesthetic of the original “emotional hardcore” bands that were in full bloom during the early to mid-90’s.  Sorority Noise may not sound exactly like Weezer – they’re far more dark, with a heavy emphasis on melancholia and moodiness.  However, they have a similar approach and appeal, in my mind.  They understand the emotional impact of indie/alternative rock, and are able to elevate it to anthemic heights by adding in the perfect amount of stadium-ready bombast.

Heck, these guys might not even like Weezer.  They might even hate them for all I know, and this paltry review may incite them to commit questionable acts of throwing star violence.  Sorority Noise have some similar elements: the big catchy choruses, the big crunchy guitars and the big rock solid rhythm section.  But there are a lot of reasons that my Weezer comparison is way, way off.  Overall, this record is much darker and bleaker, with a pervasive slacker/junky vibe to the lyrics, even in the moment when the music itself is all bittersweet pop and candy-coated melodies, such as on the self-explanatory song, “Using.”  The big difference is that Sorority Noise sound like they’re haunted. There are more atmospheric and orchestrated elements, and the dynamics are more stark.  They shift gears between minimalistic, downtempo indie to frenetically upbeat pop-punk with twin harmonized guitars, sometimes within the course of the same song.  At times, their lyrics go beyond simple self-deprecatory humor, and land firmly within the realm of the full-blown bummer.  This shouldn’t be much of a revelation, given the title of the album.

“Does hell taste as sweet as you thought, do you like what you bought?” This was the question I was left musing to myself after I’d finished the closing track “When I See You (Timberwolf)”.  I was starting to feel haunted as well, though it was that pleasant, warm, fun form of haunting, as if I’d transcended the gloom veil of the mundane, and for a brief instant tasted the highs of heaven and then drank the depths of hell before I took off my headphones, bundled up, and walked down the street for that next cup of afternoon coffee.

Reviewed by Andy “Dingus” Beresky