So Is The Tongue - A Child Of Divorce
New Jersey-ite experimental trio So Is The Tongue have really gone a long way to intrigue me on A Child of Divorce, a record that feels like a lyrical concept album but with musical accompaniment that really stretches any possibility of labeling them anything distinct. Equal parts jazz-fused avant-garde, post-rock shoegazing, emo lyrical/vocal outbursts and an edge of sharp alternative metal. The end results are about as mixed as anyone would expect from such a wide variety ingredients, but the record still seems to accomplish what it set out to in the first place.
The album plays out like one extended suite broken into 7 sections, 3 of which are placid, reflective interludes between the meatier and more intense "songs" proper. These are labeled parts I, II and III. "Conflicting Stories" is the first track and starts out similar to older Coheed before the bottom falls out with massive rolls of drums and random noodling. Vocalist Ron Varod has a very quiet, introspective approach, showing an admirable amount of range between clean and screaming but never overstretching his abilities. You will struggle, to an extent, with the shifting songwriting So Is The Tongue presents, depending on your tastes and familiarity with similar artists. Much credit must go to the rest of the band, especially bassist Greg Meisenberg, who has a real knack for his instrument and fills in space otherwise a bit empty with quick-fingered melodies and grooves. "Either Way" builds meticulously, feeling much like any 10-minute post rock track you've ever heard in it's crawling build and eventual explosion of a climax. "People Don't Forget" is dark, brooding and intensely up-tempo, shifting from strangled guitar squeals into thunderous fills and an ominous rhythm. Truly the most haunting track on the record. "You're Nobody" closes the album and contains so much weight in it's 13 minutes that dissecting it might require another review in itself.
While certain moments work better than others, the entirety of A Child of Divorce is a fantastic conceptual piece that highlights the inherent talent this 3-piece has in terms of chemistry, individual instrumental prowess and for penning interesting hooks, grooves and pieces of songs that burst out at you suddenly and ferociously. My only real complaint is that the overall songwriting lacks a certain amount of flow in places, but never to the point where you feel the band is just pushing a certain idea forward with no desire to flesh it out. With experience comes a more tuned-in sense of how to better craft a track, and So Is The Tongue is primed to really turn some heads here and, hopefully even more so in the future.
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