Austin, Texas native Statuette has teamed up with the Sacramento, Calif. group Missive to release a split EP, available for free on Missive’s Bandcamp.
Warning: There is a severe risk of head-banging one’s brains out through the entire five-song release. But while the EP packs a punch, it also falls a bit short in terms of creativity, cloning a majority of the post-hardcore bands on the scene today.
Post-hardcore, more than most genres, has a necessity of bringing something completely new to the table. Sadly, this collection of songs brings only the same old ideas. Both groups fall into the common practice of focusing on the intensity of the music, not the content or clarity of it.
Both Statuette and Missive have a lot of potential, but neither quite hit the mark with this release. Instead, they come at listeners with a lot of energy, but not much substance.
In the album opener, “Caught in the Grey,” Statuette starts with muddled lyrics that hold empty emotion over a chaotic slew of instruments. While shouting is a common trend for this style of music, it’s still nice to be able to somewhat make out the lyrics of a song; otherwise, they’re practically meaningless. “Caught in the Grey” progresses through a few different scene changes while it hits its peak toward the end. The music quiets, then goes into a huge breakdown of catchy chord progressions and strong musicianship, ending the opening track on a good note.
Statuette’s second song, “Heavy Lungs,” triumphs over the first, sounding much more original and thoughtfully crafted. It’s full of intriguing, constantly changing parts, is a bit easier to understand, and overall sounds like a better version of the former track.
Next comes Missive’s half of the split. The recording quality of the two bands is markedly inconsistent; the latter band’s poor recording quality is beyond obvious and brings the split down as a whole. While Statuette was hard to understand due to the singer’s style, Missive has that same problem with the added issue of a poor mix. Listeners can barely make out the singer at all, let alone what he’s trying to say.
Missive’s half appears to grasp at a common theme: all three songs deal with aspects of the weather and the transition between fall and winter. Even though Missive has a specific concept in mind, it’s still hard to discern exactly what they band is trying to do with it. The concept, despite its creative potential, seems a bit jumbled and lacking direction.
Missive’s first song, “Leaves,” is a slow, powerful track that acts as a good introduction to its portion of the split. It’s more melodic in its instrumentation than Statuette and has a unique vocalist, both of which can help a post-hardcore band make a name for itself.
The following song, “Frost,” starts off on a confusing note. It sounds too chaotic, too messy, even off-time at parts. However, after the rough intro calms down, “Frost” is a highlight of the EP. All of the musicians show off their skills with simultaneous miniature-solos, while the singer has his chance to shine.
“Cold” ends the split with a beautiful, guitar-heavy melody that abruptly jumps into an epic, fitting “goodbye.”
The emotional line, “I’ve never felt so cold,” repeated at the end is one of the better displays of the singer’s voice, especially when he sings it a capella to close out the EP.
Both Statuette and Missive have a lot of potential. They have their ups and downs throughout the split, making it an average release. The two bands have a lot of energy and sound like they would excel in a live setting; plus they’ve proven themselves to be talented musicians. But the lack of tangible emotion and stark contrast between recording quality destroy the split’s coherency. In a genre lousy with sad attempts at depth and little focus on anything other than making noise, this EP simply doesn’t cut it.
Hopefully the two bands will continue to polish their music and achieve the sound it seems they’re looking for. It’s right within their reach, they just have to strain a bit farther to grasp it.
Statuette and Missive – Split EP tracklist:
- Statuette — “Caught in the Grey”
- Statuette — “Heavy Lungs”
- Missive — “Leaves”
- Missive — “Frost”
- Missive — “Cold”