We Were Skeletons – self-titled
Pennsylvania three-piece We Were Skeletons play frenetic, hectic, desperate, flailing, violent hardcore screamo – or, to put it in the band’s own terms, “mid-tempo choderock”. You know it. Looking at the band’s online presence it’s pretty obvious they don’t take themselves too seriously… yet listening to their tunes it’s clear where the band have invested their concentration and dedication.
Their take on the screamo genre is a rougher, rawer affair than some contemporaries such as Piano Becomes The Teeth or Dolcim – think now-defunct outfits like Hot Cross or Orchid (in fact ex-Orchid member Will Killingsworth sat behind the desk to record this release), or even Saetia if they had hated one another even more. We Were Skeletons have a jagged, distorted, flakey guitar sound with some lush hints of delay on lead guitar, particularly in the short and snappy solos that pepper their songs.
Their sense of humour still comes through, though, particularly in song titles like ‘ Exposure to Heavy Metal Causes Whatever’ and ‘Bruce Willis is Dead the Whole Time’, a track which opens in an expansive fashion, promising to build towards an epic, earth-shattering moment, but instead foxes expectations by slipping back into a scrappier approach. Another excellent track is the lengthy ‘This Destroys Us’, featuring a great emo breakdown five minutes in with the plaintively screamed “on my hands and knees I crawl”.
We Were Skeletons is an impressively aggressive LP which works melody into its intricate violence, which skillfully blends humour with emotional passion. It’s a challenging and rewarding listen for screamo fans, and I’m looking forward to the band’s forthcoming split releases with MИЩa (who I don’t know) and the Saddest Landscape (who I do – review to come in the next few weeks).