September 12, 2006
YOUNG WIDOWS [I]SETTLE DOWN CITY[/I] REVIEW
Taken at the member level, Louisville's Young Widows are basically the second coming of the defunct Breather Resist, since everyone but singer Steve Sindoni is present. But one listen to Settle Down City, Young Widows' debut for Jade Tree, and it's pretty apparent that the name change was warranted: this is a new band with a new sound. Not that the two bands couldn't share a bill together, but the Young Widows trio is a step removed from the metallic hardcore chaos of Breather with their noise rock-inspired post-punk grooves. They take a lot of cues from bands like the Jesus Lizard, and consequently, fans of such will find much to like here (take special note of "Glad He Ate Her," whose title is more than coincidental). The guys love distortion and reverb, with songs like "Formerer," the vocal freak-out "The First Half," and the confrontational "Almost Dead Beat" thriving on it amidst discordant playing where instruments and vocals all crash off each other to land in a wonderful musical heap on the floor. But nothing is just plain noisy; there is always solid playing to guide each note along. Evan Patterson's guitar work remains excellent as always, and he takes over main vocals with more of a cathartic yell than a harsh hardcore growl. Its effect doesn't knock listeners over on impact, but coupled with the bashing drums of Geoff Paton and throbbing basslines of Nick Thieneman, the emotionally charged sonic attack of Young Widows is as unsettling as it is compelling.
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