System and Station

System and Station

Written by: HES on 04/07/2013 13:16:51

So sometimes an album will get lost on my to-do list in the shadow of bigger, more shiny names - and sometimes you want to beat yourself for letting a great album get lost like that. "System and Station" is one of those albums. At the first song "Turned Guns" we are introduced to what sounds like the lovechild of emotional hardcore-royalties like Fugazi and Jimmy Eat World (here I'm thinking the "Clarity"-era). The soundscape is dystopic, but everso melodic but most importantly condensed and simple. "Occupied" is a bit of a jazzy song, but never straying too far from the general idea of the album. In "Fools" a clear, electrical guitar cuts through the dense, dark sounds of the rest of the album.

Singer RFK Heise does in general shape the album. His voice is very specific - like a mix of Ozzy Osbourne and Pete Doherty without the accent. Normally I would protest against the whole lot of echo-effect on the vocals, but in some way it just makes sense on this album. I feel taken-a-back to the first couple of mp3s that made their way from Seattle to my computer in the 00's. I applaud System and Station for staying with the old school sound rather than being swayed by the horrible faith this genre experienced. "I Met The Devil And The Devil Was You" has a fantastic kind of intricacy in it's rhythm powered by the simplicity of the general soundscape - making me think of Death Cab For Cutie's more experimental work with waltz and not-your-standard-4/4 rhythms.

Josh Vasby on lead guitar is an absolute magician - over and over again cutting through the clouds of gloom on the album with high-pitch solos and riffs. Bryan Fairfield on drums also really brings something extra. In general the band seems to understand when to spotlight the different instruments - also in the mix - where Larry Crane (The Decemberists) has helped the band out as co-producer with great success. I must confess, I thought this part of music was dead, but this has rekindled my faith in the more experimental and harder part of the indie genre and I'd pick System and Station over Mumford and Sons any day.

Download: I Met The Devil And The Devil Was You, Turned Guns, Fools
For The Fans Of: Fugazi, Jets to Brazil, Jimmy Eat World ("Clarity" and "Static Prevails")
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Release date 19.03.2013
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