By Marvin Dotiyal, Features Editor
[Pure Noise; 2019]
Key tracks: “With High Hopes and Clipped Wings”, “Late December”, “Put on a Show, Don’t Let Them See You Fall”
SeeYouSpaceCowboy came out swinging earlier this year with Songs For The Firing Squad—an intoxicating compilation of their past songs that manifested their self-dubbed, “sasscore” trademark. For a band with a propensity for panic-inducing breakdowns and tongue-in-cheek, MySpace-era tropes, The Correlation Between Entrance and Exit Wounds is a dignified sign of progress that casts a dark shadow to their over-the-top virtuosity.
Read more: Album Review: Bring Me the Horizon – amo
That’s not to say that the San Diego quartet has lost their edge; if anything, their musicality has become more serrated and vigorous than ever. With more layers of vehement expression and less “sass” ingrained in their sound, Correlation pulls no punches when it comes to putting emotion first and foremost.
The album heavily relies on a framework of convulsive grindcore and metalcore elements, with semblances of early post-hardcore and screamo partaking in the mayhem. The cacophonous assaults on “Disdain Coupled with a Wide Smile” and “Put on a Show, Don’t Let Them See You Fall” drive their raw energy like a crossbreed of Orchid and early The Devil Wears Prada, showcasing the band’s charmingly discordant spontaneity.
In the ravages of dissonant chords, spastic sequence shifts and diluted Gothenburg riffs, they grace us with two instrumental interludes that permeate with post-rock sentiments. Along with the interludes, the catastrophic beauty of “Late December” gives the record a change of pace. A heartfelt elegy dedicated to vocalist Connie Sgarbossa’s late friend, this track builds up from a spoken-word soliloquy into an outburst of sorrow and grief. Sgarbossa’s poetic sting and delivery unfold the hard-hitting reality of suicide and ends the song with the truth that only hurts: “In the end I can’t accept / That I’m still here and you’re not.”
The album’s personal narratives and wistful songwriting are deepened by dark lyrical themes dealing with addiction, mental health and depression, which adds dualities to their sonic character. When coupled with Sgarbossa’s piercing screams and cascades of minor key progressions, the product is priceless.
While SYSC aren’t here to innovate the current landscape of the “-core” scene, their contemporaries have a thing or two to take away from this LP; artistic conformity is worth sacrificing for emotional depth—even if that means dedicating a whole minute to whirring guitar feedback (“Have You Lost the Plot”). It’s imperative to understand that Correlation is a vehicle for pure catharsis (and perhaps crowdkilling), not an attempt to write the most “innovative” polyrhythmic breakdown in double drop G tuning. SYSC achieve a sound that is just as distinct and reminiscent to their forerunners, and it all makes sense that the sincerity of this album amounts to their unbridled ingenuity.