Sunday, April 24, 2016

Into It Over It - The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die - The Sidekicks -- Black Cat - Apr 23 2016

by John Miller

The Sidekicks - It's low key tonight, despite the crowd. Everyone seems so polite. Even the conversation is kept to a minimum in between songs.  The Sidekicks start with a crunch reminiscent of Domestica era Cursive. Though the similarities end quickly; it's far less serious. It's bright, a la Promise Ring, Everything Hurts. Yet as the set continues there are small moments when Tim Kasher's influence returns. The way the two guitarists play off one another, this minor scale crunch, it's decidedly late 90s. Sidekicks are supporting their first album with new label Epitaph, Runners in the Nerve World. The newer pieces are far less concerned with casting a wide net. Specifically, the vocals have changed; before bouncing off one another, both guitarist harmonized, the vocals, now handled by Steve Ciolek are almost sung in falsetto. It's a change for sure. The songwriting is more complicated as well. There is a lot more going on with the guitar parts than the previous pieces. They end with a cover of People Who Died: seems appropriate considering the news.

The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die - Whoa, that beats the former band with the longest name title holder, And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead. The name encapsulates the band perfectly, there is an exceptional amount things going on tonight. I count no less than seven members. What's weird though is that are quite reminiscent of The Black Clouds but even with the seven members, I don't think they come close to the amount of noise at a Black Clouds show. This is almost a throw back to early 2000s; the quiet, scream aesthetic, the earnest vocals. It should be said though that the way one of the many guitarists (I think there are three but there could be more) plays pitch games that make the instrument sound like it is dying. But the actual song structure, at least musically feels more in tune with something that purposefully avoids vocals; like Pelican. Their songs are soft, spacey, melodic, though it always feels as if that could change at any moment. There this sense of dread that follows them; it's all about to go to shit. The way things build up and then suddenly become calm, soft picking leading to a deluge of power chords, sudden crashes followed by pads.  I can't help but come back to The Black Clouds; these two need to tour together, it would be the perfect marriage of doom and gloom.

Into It Over It - In between asides Evan Thomas Weiss sings his first song. It's a quiet acoustic piece. He sweeps along the strings as he jokes with the audience. The remainder of Into It Over it slowly files in behind him before letting us all know that this is going to be a good one. Singalongs quickly follow. Evan is supporting his newest effort Standards, which was released earlier last month on the 11th. The set reminded me a lot of the latter emo scene as well, the more radio friendly era; like a less angsty Thursday combined with a quieter Taking Back Sunday. It’s weird how these genres cycle around and as I get older it feels as if those cycles are shorter and shorter.  Into It Over It, reminds me a lot of Titus Andronicus, who I saw late last year, especially the vocal styling. There is an earnest quality that causes each piece to feel like it was written specifically for each individual fan. That quality, being so earnest, yet being relatable, is such a rare quality. It's really quite good.

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