When last we checked in on Philadelphia four-piece Binary, a year and change ago, they had just released their debut EP, Commit More Arson, a stunner of an emoviolence release. Building on the established corpus of the genre – bands like Orchid, pageninetynine, and La Quiete – the upstart group crafted a powerful sonic ambassador for emoviolence’s strengths as a genre.
Lo and behold, time’s inevitable march has brought us to the release of Say Your Prayers, No One Cares, a release that sees Binary dialing back the “emo” in favor of committing far more energy to the “violence” side of their sound. (I’m sorry for what may have been the dumbest sentence I have ever written.) On Say Your Prayers, we find the band getting far, far more in touch with their shared love of sass, false grind, and metalcore, creating music that is far more punishing and straightforward in its anger, almost completely ditching the melancholic roots of their origin genre.
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Coming in at a tidy six minutes and change, Say Your Prayers, No One Cares packs quite the punch into its diminutive frame. Anyone with a working knowledge of the music made by groups like Daughters, The Blood Brothers, or Heavy Heavy Low Low in the early-to-mid aughts will immediately recognize what’s going on here: the band careens back and forth between fight riffs punctuated with panic chords, spasmodic bursts of melody, and brief crawls through ringing chords that vibrate and implode into pure distortion and feedback. For those of us who grew up knowing and loving this sort of sound, Say Your Prayers is comfort food to an extreme, the essence of a sound known and loved reverse-engineered and reconstructed with laser precision.
However, like their compatriots in resurrecting this sub-scene of metalcore, Binary aren’t content with merely replicating the genre’s panthon. Where .gif from god are corrupting their songs with electronics to create a dystopian atmosphere and The Callous Daoboys are going for a much more raw and emotionally vibrant angle with their tunes, Binary is opting to create tracks that are straight-up heavy. There are chugged breakdowns, double-bass blasts, and mosh sections aplenty on Say Your Prayers; every song crams as much violence as possible into its short runtime.
Overall, like Commit More Arson before it, Say Your Prayers, No One Cares proves that creating music with a personality can be just as much a result of doing excellent things on top of already-tread ground as it can be the outcome of complete novelty – and that sometimes, personality comes from tweaking the formula, not shoving it aside outright. Put on your white belt, stream this one loud and proud, and get ready to mosh like it’s 2007 again.