the schisms - the schisms
The Schisms, comprised of Carson Barker on vocals/guitar/synths, The Miss Genocide on bass, and Mike Minarcek on drums and backing vocals. They describe their self-titled EP The Schisms as "five songs about dead people or sex." Sold!
This trio from Austin, Texas, plays a head banging, longhair approved blend of punk and vaudeville rock. Barker is an excellent choice as vocalist, very bitter sounding but also very tough and dangerous, like he's ready to pop off at any moment. He sounds as threatening as he does celebratory on "You Want Me." He gives the lamb-blood seal of approval on his band's more bizarre topics, such as undead matrimony and weird-ass hotels.
Genocide and Minarcek keep things fresh with a sassy but savage rhythm section; Genocide's bass lines hover over the music like a sinister moth, thick but soft at the same time. Minarcek's drumming is a massive draw for this album, very simple patterns that make great use of repetition and variation. On every track his percussion is the most dangerous element. Granted, Barker's guitar-playing can seemingly cross over into any genre, but it’s the music’s most elaborate element rather than dangerous.
The Schisms approach music from several well-trod paths, and then expand on them. The head swirling shoe gaze that comes in at the end of "Meridian Motel" is a welcome treat, as is the rag-timey whistling chorus on "Zombie Bride." "You Want Me" channels some gnarly early 90s metal toward the end with its driving elephantine licks and stormy drumming while Barker moans in the background. The closer "World Falls Down" seems like it's going to be a stark contrast to the other songs, what with its meditative opening, but then the band explodes into "Rock and Roll High School" fervor, as Barker proclaims his love in his now-trademark sexy, theatrical voice over surf-like guitar chords.
Loving dead things never sounded so enthralling!
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