Published Sep 24, 2019On their (proper) debut LP, The Correlation Between Entrance and Exit Wounds, the days of SeeYouSpaceCowboy's flashy political jabs and outrageous bursts of MySpace-era grindcore are all but gone. The once-purveyors of self-professed "sasscore" have returned for a second release in 2019, following up their Pure Noise Records introductory compilation, Songs for the Firing Squad, released just last winter.
Correlation begins with the confrontational first single "Armed with Their Teeth," a moment of calculated retribution with partisan commentary ("The shackled wolves have these dreams of freedom / Sink your teeth into your captor") to the tune of a fantastic horror-chord based breakdown. Two tracks later, "Disdain Coupled with a Wide Smile" shares this same sentiment with an overload of panicked riffing and tempo-shifting guitar chugs, while vocalist Connie Sgarbossa makes her demands clear as day: "These fucking pigs must be undone." Both songs are moments of sharp articulation and unrestrained seething. This is exactly what has not changed about SeeYouSpaceCowboy.
What has changed is the troupe's songwriting foundation. Listeners will hear less of the playfully violent sounds of See You Next Tuesday and Drop Dead Gorgeous here, and more of the ripened melodic tendencies of Beloved or Misery Signals. SeeYouSpaceCowboy quite literally have grown out of their scene phase, and the gorgeous instrumentals of "Late December" (the Poison the Well influence here is obvious from the title alone) drive that evolution home. The song ponders the mental void of loss, and survival in a world of constant opposition. Simply put, hardcore bands do not make music this hard and striking.
Any gripe about Correlation might be lobbied at its many transitory moments. At 11 songs and barely 30 minutes, the LP has three interlude-ish tracks. "Have You Lost the Plot?" in particular serves no purpose in its harsh noise, and fourth song "A Space Marked 'Escape'" teases at the driving melodies that shape the best moments of this release, but much too early in the tracklist.
SeeYouSpaceCowboy are no longer a breakdown fantasy draft from the pages of your LiveJournal, but one of the freshest faces in hardcore's current wave of nostalgia-inducing metalcore throwback, as evidenced by second single "Put on a Show, Don't Let Them See You Fall." It's chock full of chaotic passages and assaulting mosh parts, as Sgarbossa urgently screams "Don't be afraid to exist," a definitive lyric for a band associated with the metallic hardcore movement that are simultaneously waving their own flag for radical, contemplative metalcore. (Pure Noise)