HFN101 - learn all you need to know about how awesome screamo is in three tracks and 7:08 min:
This is originally from Zen and the Art of Face Punching (I don't even own it, and sadly it is now out of print according to the Pure Pain Sugar label website which I just checked. My luck not to have a record player when it came out first). I listed it in this statement-of-intent post from last month, along with a bunch of other stuff which is closer to what this blog originally started out posting. Be sure, if there's anything else on that list that you particularly want to hear, let me know and I'll keep your priority in mind. For the moment, I'm about to start into a week of exams so don't be surprised if there isn't anything up between now and next weekend.
This post is also in preparation for posting the new limited edition 7" from Ireland's own Hooray for Humans (yes, the name is a reference to that band). The similarities aren't perhaps all that deep, but they do sound a bit like La Quiete sans screamo. Also, they're awesome.
La Quiete are a screamo band from Italy, and in my opinion are the best of the 'modern' screamo bands (just surpassing Sinaloa, and taking Envy out of the equation because they aren't really screamo anymore). All of their songs are superlatively passionate, even for the genre; and the music, although at times harsh, at times unrelenting, can only be described as genuinely beautiful. These three tracks are almost a distillation of their sound: at first, because they were so short, the whole passed me by as somehow slight - but as I said at the time, "wow, once you let it sink in, you can really appreciate the melodies and see how it builds on the La Fine... sound. Fantastic". This is what blend wrote in his review:
"The self titled 7" is from 2006 and is the bands latest recording and see the band exploring the melodies that made La Fine non é la Fine so butter. At first I was thrown a bit, but I have to say, these three songs are so freaking good I listened to them over and over and over....So many melodies and so many tempo changes...At first it seems really complex (and it is to some extent) but the songs flow like water and have such amazing energy. All this while still remaining positive and not falling into the typical angry or depressed school of hardccore thought. (Don't get me wrong, they make for some amazing songs too) This is powerful emo hardcore music that actually makes you feel good"
Right from the start, La Quiete are the opposite of what their name might suggest. The first song, sweetly and percussively anxious, is painfully brief, a fact which the second builds on to introduce a driving, highly melodic mid-segment which eventually crests sharply onto the renewed assault of the last song. Disembodied yet mellifluous screaming is counterpointed with cyclical, rhythmic melody and finally a slow bit which you'll have humming under your breath. The passion in the indecipherable lyrics is still clearly evident, as is the softness and the sublety in the angular and aggressively played guitars.
In short, La Quiete is pretty indescribable, and in many ways quite irregular from what you might expect in a screamo band. This 7" does the same job as the La Fine non é la Fine full-length, simply more pointedly.
The three tracks are as follows:
1. Sulla Differenza fra un Sorriso e una Risata*
3. Era Quella La Mia Prigione di Carte
* '[On the] difference between a smile and a laugh'; I don't really need to know Italian to work that one out, it's very similar to the French (souris/ris). Thanks to Giulia for extra translations and spelling corrections.
The cover, at top, is somewhat of an approximation. The real thing is supposed to come in a card, gatefold sleeve. I found photographs of the design from the artist(s?) at Amiam .org which were better quality than the picture on Zen, but they were cunningly skewed and sort of small, so I had to do a bit of messing around to get the picture above. Here are the originals:
The same page has the artwork for Xiu Xiu's La Foret (a very interesting artist, shortly to do his first show in Ireland which I might be persuaded into attending; I like some of his stuff - mainly A Promise, the cover for which thankfully this graphic artist isn't responsible for), La Quiete's amazing cloth-covered Tenpeun collection, their floppy disk/CD 3", and La Quiete action figures (the last one is just plain weird).
Luckily, the amazing artiness doesn't stop there. The 7" came with a specially commissioned video CD featuring music videos from various Italian animation/video artists, one for each song. They used to be on La Quiete's MySpace, and are now on YouTube:
Sulla (by blu)
Guigno (by erica il cane)
Era (by emanuele kabu)