DAUGHTERS OF SAINT CRISPIN - Daughters Of Saint Crispin

Daughters Of Saint Crispin - Daughters Of Saint Crispin

4 songs
21:28 minutes
***** ***


Four years ago, I reviewed rather favourably an album by Madison WI based political noise rock band Tyranny Is Tyranny, not knowing that it would be their last one. Vocalist / guitarist Russell Emerson Hall teamed up with vocalist / bassist Peter Leonard and a drum machine to found their new band Daughters Of Saint Crispin. Although the duo claims to have a more minimalist approach and describes their music as noisy slowcore, donít expect too many blank spaces in their sonic universe.

The first eponymous EP consists of four tracks, with two longer ones of about seven minutes each marking the beginning and the end of the record, with two more concise tracks of about four minutes each squeezed in the middle. The EP thus begins with the long Ex-Spies, a sludgy and muscular piece of music flowing like molten lava through your ears. The tracks starts out rather minimalist, with at first the guitar and bass playing along the drum machine, the latter sounding actually rather organic. The vocals soon join in and remind me of the post hardcore days of Ian MacKaye (Fugazi) and Henry Rollins (Rollins Band), the way those two sounded after leaving Minor Threat and Black Flag. Sometime later, the guitar adds more distortion, thus giving the song a certain post rock affinity. Debt Grief is a groovier track, showing that the duo can also keep their structures more tightly. This is actually more bone-dry noise rock than post metal infused slowcore. The same counts for Blue Light, at not even three and a half minutes the EPís shortest moment. This track has an eerie ghost-story feeling but alas is also the least suspenseful one on the EP. Head And Heart concludes the record with a mellower seven minute piece, reminding me a lot of Jesu, although the guys seem to have been more influenced by Godflesh. But in the end itís all Justin Broadrick to me.

As a first outing, Daughters Of Saint Crispin is a very solid effort. They truly excel at the longer structures, although the shorter pieces help to add a sense of dynamics to the whole picture. While I normally have not a lot of love left for drum computers in rock bands, I have to concede that they are programmed in a way that they work really well with the guitars. Itís be interesting to see if this duo could achieve even more tension and suspense on a longplayer with a couple of long tracks plus a few shorter pieces in between. As of now, I consider myself intrigued enough to keep them on my radar.

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