There's a particular space between math-rock, mathcore, and skramz that I just happen to adore, even if the above three genres are not my biggest thing. Sometimes, however, the are bands who happen to create a balance between the three, a unique blend of aggression, emotional impact, and technical complexity, that really appeals to me. We can cite bands like Circle Takes the Square, The Fall of Troy or, most pertinently in this case (to my ears at least), Chicago's wonderful, blog darlings, Snooze. Whenever I find bands who are able to create, and maintain, this fragile balance I latch onto them because it's just that rare. Happily, I've found another in the form of Endless, Nameless and their new track, "Sarah Lynn".
If you've heard Snooze before (and if you haven't, you are seriously messing up), the comparison will probably jump at you. "Sarah Lynn" is a delicate but fierce competition between math-rock leads (climbing those scales up and down with joyful agility), heavier and more prominent riffs, and vocals which bleed with feelings of regret, love, and loss. This is all underpinned by excellent work on the drums, scoring both the brittle chromatics of the leads and the chunkier riffs with punctual rhythm and forward momentum. All of this comes together beautifully, to create that balance I referenced above, that good blend between all genres on display here which ends up impacting the listener both intellectually and emotionally.
The lyrics also deal heavily with identity and memory, completing the style's penchant for introspection and emotional catharsis. As vocalist/guitarist Elle Reynolds says: "Being a trans person, it feels like my personal identity is violently and forcibly made political, so a lot of the album touches on that and intentionally blends those two categories. Sarah’s a character from a cartoon we all loved, Bojack Horseman, who dies tragically on a bender with her friend, and I ran with that inspiration/used that metaphor as a vehicle for my own personal guilt around a friend I lost."
Living Without, Endless, Nameless' new album, comes out March 24th on the magnificent Silent Pendulum Records. Head on over here to pre-order it.