There aren’t a lot of bands riding the hype train as effectively as SeeYouSpaceCowboy in 2019. Their first record of the year was a collection of odds and sods that happened to fucking slap.
No sooner had the metallic hardcore world digested its potential than the debut album proper arrived. It’s more like an album, unsurprisingly. And it’s crushing.
The Correlation Between Entrance And Exit Wounds is quite a record. SeeYouSpaceCowboy formed in Southern California less than three years ago and, now, they’ve capitalised on the buzz with a marvellous debut.
It begins with ‘Armed With Their Teeth’ and its insistent four-note opening that somehow signifies everything and nothing about what’s to come.
That first track packs an awful lot into its length of under two minutes and that’s SeeYouSpaceCowboy in a nutshell. Aggressive, noisy, complex and contagious, crammed into impossibly small packages.
‘With High Hopes And Clipped Wings’ gives the first indication that there’s more to this album’s make-up than mayhem. The melodic parts are in no way a compromise; they serve to enrich the overall character.
‘Disdain Coupled With A Wide Smile’ reverses the effect, beginning pensive and ending brutal. That’s the kind of dexterity that amounts to such a difference between The Correlation Between Entrance And Exit Wounds and the previous collection.
‘Put On A Show, Don’t Let Them See You Fall’ is a bottlerocket of a song, infused with old-school metal yet absolutely of its moment when it comes to impatient riffing and squealing guitar punctuation.
‘Late December’ is a well constructed centrepiece, dividing its time between quietly frantic chugging, spoken word bleakness and the urgent bounce that makes so much of today’s hardcore so utterly bewitching.
That’s where The Correlation Between Entrance And Exit Wounds wipes the floor with Songs For The Firing Squad – in its coherence, its very nature as an album.
Nowhere is that more in evidence than the sinister pause of ‘A Space Marked “Escape”‘ and the ascent into the venomous stomp of ‘Prolonging The Inevitable Forever’. ‘No Words, No Compensating Lies’ has the same impact.
Closing track ‘The Phoenix Must Rest’ demonstrates a level of craft in writing and playing that really shows what SeeYouSpaceCowboy are about when their focus is on making an album that’s actually an album.
And this is an album that rolls two successes into one.
It stands up to microscopic scrutiny, rewarding attention with myriad details. It’s also infectious enough to demand repeat listens.
Just one more spin. One more. One more. That’s how songs, albums, bands, get under the skin.
The Correlation Between Entrance And Exit Wounds is out now on Pure Noise Records.