Tuesday, June 12, 2012

White Coward - Relaxer (2012)

Everyone has their own opinions on what music is and isn't. I remember going to school with metal kids (collectively labeled "the headbangers") who'd refuse to call hip hop music. Others balance their opinions on the fulcrum between "pretty" and "ugly". There are those, for example, who fill their music collection exclusively with the likes of The Beach Boys or Sufjan Stevens, while others focus primarily on bands with names like Cannibal Corpse or Vomiting Rectum.

But, in the end, it's all music, as whatever anything "is" lies in the eye of the beholder.

White Coward is a Seattle 3-piece whose music expertly evokes the emotion of trepidation, traversing those dissonant grounds between post-hardcore and noise. There's nothing that shimmers or jangles here, unless you'd consider guitars that rattle and clank like curtains of knives in a windstorm. The vocalist wails with both urgency and desperation... a great voice that adds to the overall tension of Relaxer. The drums are heavy but have a pace that runs the gamut from slow and driving to the alarming intensity of an over-adrenalized heartbeat.

White Coward snarl like an abandoned factory that whirs, buzzes and grinds despite years of rust and decay. Even though I'm a complete whore for strong melodies and harmonies, I can't deny the appeal of this music. Along with the recently defunct Wet Paint DMM, and the amazing post-Blood Brothers group Past Lives, I'm beginning to see Seattle's Bedlam-scene on par with the best output of midwest record labels like Touch And Go, Amphetamine Reptile, and Skin Graft.

6 songs, pay what you will.

White Coward - Relaxer

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