Monday, May 28, 2012

The Memorials - Delirium

The Memorials "Delirium",2012
(Bloodthirsty Unicorn)

Often a mix of various genres doesn’t look good on paper but can still sound great. Take Faith No More for example, their fusion of heavy metal, funk, hip-hop, and progressive rock sounds like the worst concept in the universe on paper however the band themselves are great. Similar to Faith No More, The Memorials are also San Francisco dwellers. The Memorials feature drummer, Thomas Pridgen, who was once in the MARS VOLTA and that alone correctly suggests unpredictability for the group’s song structures and a drummer who bangs the rhythm out hard and steady with the sticks.

The band combine hip hop rhythms combined a no-nonsense garage rock approach although there is an interlude where a brass section lays a downbeat jazzy vibe amongst the angst in “Flourescent’s Unforgiving”. In the song, the band lyrically take on the American prison system using free labour and the illegality of the growth of a sometimes medicinal herb. Funky bass rythms blare out in “Gone” as the soothing soulful voice of Vivecia Hawkens smooths out a smattering of the jagged edges although later in the tune the guitarist suprises due to an allowed permit to go wild. Deceptively “Daisies” starts out like an all to familiar radio rock song but then Hawkins sings in the fashion of the Throwing Muses, Kirstin Hersh and is able convince that she genuinely is sorting out her lovelife by picking the petals off flowers. Deftones style nu-metal weighs heavily in the title track but the band’s potpourri of colliding sounds ensures that there is much more for the listener to be dragged in by with soul and progressive rock all hanging out the bait. “Heavyweight” carries a Mike Tyson punch with steady drumming right through and the soul crooning belies the rock layered underneath until concluding with a strong self-assurance. The close to twelve minutes “Mr Entitled” ensures that the song’s duration doesn’t equate tto edium owing to the band constantly surprising.

Often listening to “Delirium” is akin to peeling an onion with multiple layers underneath. A quirky catchiness mirrored with unpredictability provides the often-lengthy songs with an easy listenability. The vocal talents of Vivecia Hawkins are definitely a huge part of the band’s sound with her ability to provide smooth sultry vocals and then rapidly seethe with rage. It’s tough to pick a highlight or a lowlight on “Delirium” as all the tunes are equally electrifying. Those that need a change from their Bellrays albums will find similar yet far gruntier tunes with this album. I haven’t heard The Memorials’ first album but if it’s of the same merit then ownership is mandatory.

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