Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Static Lullaby - Rattlesnake!


It’s always nice to hear a screamo band that sparingly uses breakdowns. Well, not only does A Static Lullaby sparingly use breakdowns, they’re also one of the most fun screamo bands to listen to. I found these guys about two years ago when I was browsing through all the different bands on Fearless Records, who is/has been home to bands such as blessthefall, Alesana, Artist vs. Poet, Motionless in White, The Word Alive, and A Skylit Drive. So the label is pretty well-rounded by having bands coming from metalcore, crunkcore, screamo, rock, emo, hardcore punk, and alternative. A Static Lullaby is no longer on the Fearless roster, but I still think of Fearless Records when I hear their name, primarily because the only album that I like by them was released under that label. Well, anyways, this is A Static Lullaby’s Rattlesnake!

I always love seeing the look on peoples’ faces whenever I show them the title/first track off this album; it rarely fails to make people smile. The majority of screamo music is, unfortunately, the stereotype: BREAKDOWNS. No, the majority of screamo bands DO NOT use auto-tuned singing (the only ones that come to mind are pre-2011 Attack Attack!, Vampires Everywhere, and Abandon All Ships). But it is true that breakdowns are WAY overused in the screamo genre, even by bands that I like (Attack Attack!, Asking Alexandria, Greeley Estates, etc.). But have no fear, A Static Lullaby is the black sheep; they’re one of the few screamo bands that have figured out how to exceed without the excessive use of breakdowns.

The title track is the one I always like to go back to. First, it has more than a screamo sound; it has a very…I don’t know, fun drive to it! It’s a lot like Attila’s Outlawed album. It makes you want to go fucking crazy and start an insane moshpit, but at the same time you feel like dancing to it. Now when bands can do that, THEN we have something interesting we can talk about!

Every musician in this band is fantastic, but not in every way. This is a band that does a perfect job of covering each other’s weaknesses. I want to tell you about each of the members, because after three years of listening to this one record, I’ve come to know it inside and out. The vocalist, let’s start with him. First of all, I know perfectly well how hard it is to do that kind of screaming (commonly referred to as “vocal fry”). Don’t know what I mean? Vocal frys are used by bands like Asking Alexandria, Austin Carlile in Attack Attack’s first album and in Of Mice and Men, Miss May I, Threat Signal, Oh, Sleeper, All Shall Perish, The Black Dahlia Murder, and many others. I always refer to it as having a lot of voice and not sounding like the vocalist is being strangled (Carnifex, Suicide Silence, Arsis, etc.). If there’s one thing that I know about vocal frys, it’s that they’re a fucking bitch to get good at. I just recently figured it out, but my voice is too deep for me to go really high. The vocalist on this album is spectacular. His screams hit the nail right on the head by sounding good, powerful, and crisp while having a unique and recognizable sound that fits the style of the music like a square peg going into a square hole. Also, (I almost forgot to mention) the singing is awesome. It’s not the best singing I’ve ever heard, but I can tell that there’s very minimal editing (if any at all, because I can’t hear any) on the singing, as well as it fitting the music. The singing sounds like something that you would hear from a 90s punk band, so it actually gives the music even more of a hard rock/punk feel.

Besides the vocalist, I have to give credit to the drummer. I mean, talk about an enormous range in style, this guy is the definition of that! For the duration of this album, he plays abstract rock patterns, blast beats, new breakdown fills, hardcore punk-influenced metalcore shit, and even some jazzy sounding stuff! But that’s only the beginning of what this guy can do. The rest of what he plays is impossible to describe because it’s new. Yes, I bet that the style of drumming that he uses has been done in the past; but in this kind of situation? I have yet to hear another drummer that’s this good and this fucking insane in a screamo band. The only other screamo drummers that are either as good or better than this guy are in Underoath (both Aaron and their new drummer), Asking Alexandria, and The Word Alive.

The whole way the album is mixed and produced is perfect. The perfect loud and chaotic rock/screamo fusion is at full-volume while still enabling you to hear every single musician perfectly. Every single song on this album is a MOTHERFUCKING BLAST to listen to! I would recommend this album to EVERYONE. What are my ABSOLUTE favorite tracks? Bear Trap, The Turn, Aller Au Diable, and Rattlesnake! I would give this album 19/20 for being one of my favorite and one of the most unique screamo records out there. If you still have a spark of hope left in you that says there HAS to be a good screamo band still out there, A Static Lullaby’s Rattlesnake is exactly what you need.