Have you ever been listening to a band, banging your head while tapping your foot along with the rhythm, when out of nowhere the time signature changes and you feel like a fool because what once was in rhythm now looks like a ridiculous twitch? If you have had that feeling (and pardon the run-on sentence) and did not care for it much, Damiera is not a band for you.
Damiera plays a very technical brand of upbeat post-hardcore with more time changes than a Swiss clock factory. Taking heavy cues from Washington, DC band Faraquet, the centerpiece of M(US)IC (pronounced “Us in music”) is an intricately layered structure built by dueling guitar parts. The vocals are the weak point of the album — the singer’s high-pitched voice comes off whiney at times — but are
Their songs are fast and complicated, but are also catchy as hell. “Ember Eason” stands out as possibly the best of the bunch, as the verse has a freakishly good bassline and simple guitar adornments that string between massive sing-a-long choruses.
It’s definitely foot-tap worthy material, but be warned: As soon as you catch up to one time signature, chances are it will change in another few measures, leaving you behind again and looking like a complete fool.
Build a Nation
Some will say that Bad Brains is made up of two different bands: One that is a ferocious and pioneering hardcore punk act, and the other that is a new-wave dub group.
In sound, perhaps this could be true, but this band was and still continues to be beyond influential in many musical circles today.
Build a Nation is the band’s first album in years and works to join the two eras of the band. At the forefront is a hardcore aggression that is not only present in the fast portions of the album, but throughout the rest as well.
Vocalist H.R. adds a unique element with his reggae-styled vocals, the cherry on top of this punk-rock sundae.
Oddly enough, the best tracks are the dub tracks, with the closer “Peace be Unto Thee” being a standout. “Until Kingdom Comes”
is what Matisyahu wishes he could sound like, and “Roll On,” possibly one of the best songs,
is clearly meant to get high to, all the while praising “Jah.”
Some people will only like the punk half of this album and some only the dub half. Truth be told, they will be the ones missing out because what makes Bad Brains Bad Brains is the melding of both styles into one mind-blowing record.