Conversations (Black Market Activities)
By Scott Hefflon
Yer gonna check to make sure you have the right CD in the player when you hear opener “Most of Us Are Normal.” It’s emo metal, all clean-singing and sincere’n’shit. And this from a buckshot/clusterfuck spazz metal band, huh? People will call this “mature,” which implies that “random spazz noise” is immature, which is what most of us have said since day one. It’s not that we “just don’t get it, man” it’s that it’s not art, it’s random epileptic seizures on your instrument of choice. That’s stupid and unlistenable, and if bands of that genre are finally maturing and writing real songs (even if they’re only pretty good), it’s a step in the right direction. Maybe someday they’ll actually be worth listening to.
Snarling aside at a genre I’m glad is finally fucking off, From a Second Story Window do, in fact, combine quality ka-chunk death grrr with, well, pussy singing. Some nice melodies, and at a quick pass, it seems like the guy can hit the notes (making it no longer emo, perhaps?), but there’s still an emoish whine to the passionate/meaningfulness of it. I mean, does Chris Cornell whine? Did Janis Joplin? Did Linda Perry (from 4 Non Blondes: Google that shit, kid)? How about Neil Diamond or Tom Jones? No, they belt it out, they ooze it out, they croon and caw, rasp, howl, and melt your heart like buttah. While FASSW’s singer is a whole lot less awful than a lot of his peers trying to mature and gain respect now that spazzcore has lost whatever appeal it apparently had in the first place, he’s one babystep toward being a great vocalist. Which, I think, he actually might be, given time. And that’s the closest I’ll come to a compliment, so jot that shit down.