Notes From A Smooth Talker #4

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On the latest episode we share our thoughts about two amazing debuts on full-length distance, as elite screamo from Richmond, VA meets top-notch screamo from Nuremberg, Germany. This is the fourth installment of Notes From A Smooth Talker featuring todlowski (FFO: Masada, Rêche, Lost Boys) and ostraca, formally known as Kilgore Trout (FFO: Old Soul, Youth Funeral).

ostraca - last


Right before their European tour, Richmond-based emoviolence outfit ostraca have released their first Long Player on Skeletal Lightning and i corrupt records. Since then, the groundbreaking album has rocked the foundation of the entire international screamo community. Recorded at Minimum Wage during the end of the previous year, last follows Faces of The Moving Year - a split with Denton’s Fflesh Born - and the band’s 2015 debut EP Deathless. The threepiece from Virginia establishes a dense and versatile sound straight from the beginning of “Waiting for the Crash“. While the opening stunner comes along with a well-structured composition, the following “The Orchard“ is forged out of chaos and incensement, before “Childlike initially returns to disentangled fairways. During the span of the whole album, Brian, Gus and John are able to master the balancing act between the genre typical dissonant sound and majestic melodies, which are brought to bear in songs like “Worn Away“ or the epochal ten minutes song “Nausea“. Last mentioned builds the centerpiece of the album, captivating through its ingenious buildup. This leads to a stormy climax, where Gus Caldwell begins to scream “Is there anything more to life than just trying to find what little joy in it you can?“ - only to notice that “You’ll get nothing and think you deserve it, fight and fight to cry at the outstretched hands of the angels in your life. Suffer through it all to find a friend and then recoil.“ shortly after. With last ostraca set new standards in songwriting, delivering a six-song collection, which will be thought of as a modern classic really soon.

“There is nothing more awful than the knowledge that you can and will hurt people, especially the ones closest to you. How much easier to pray for the meteor, or the quake, or the wave. At my worst, I am waiting for the crash so that there’s nothing to explain. To everything you made: wave goodbye. The hospital’s never going to call, it was you all along.” [Waiting for the Crash]

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todlowski - s/t #2


Nuremberg and its nearby cities have a little, but thriving underground scene, yielding stunning screamo acts such as Masada, Lilith, Lost Boys or Rêche. Attracting genre lovers from everywhere with their distinctive sound, they all have long made a name for themselves far beyond city borders. Originating from the same set as the above-mentioned bands, todlwoski consists of Oliver and Nico. The duo, known for their intelligent and humorous, yet crucial lyrics, have now digitally released their very first record on full-length distance. Just by looking at the cover, there’s a certain fuck you attitude floating towards the beholder, later manifesting itself within the band’s rough and minimalistic sound and lines like „PC spielen und porno, guten morgen, bon giorno, Einschlaflektüre serviert von Adorno, leben mit Sinn, ist nicht mehr drin, wer danach fragt, hat längst versagt!“. Todlowski puts emphasis on multi-vocals and mathy sound-structures, which unfold their full impact right from the start of pardon, the opening track of the self-titled album. Arranged by the distorted guitar, virtuosically played by Oliver, choppy melodies and changes in pace are drawn through each of the eight songs. In katze cola or mimimi moralia the two-piece seems to be on top of their game, refining their overall work on their energetic debut Long Player.

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