One of the more significant hurdles in adult life--or so I've been told--is the oppressive inevitably of the mundane. The dull monolithism of same old, same old. Day in, day out. I'll be the first to admit that, as a guy in my mid 20's trying to claw, with nail-bitten fingers, a little security in this overwhelming world for me and mine, my primary concern isn't mundanity, but rather reaching the tail end of these turbulent times in the first place.
The point? If you find yourself at a stage in your life where the self-doubt, bewilderment, and constant sadness of early adulthood are less than crystal clear, Florida's own Empty Joy are here to offer up a little vicarious grief and agony. These guys are in the thick of it, and the emotive intentions of their first track--to "convey the complicated nature of sorrow in a traditionally happy time of the year"--are refreshingly genuine. In that unhappy spirit, we're happy to present today said debut track, the appropriately entitled Drowned.
Noise? Post-rock? Drowned begins with the distortion-ridden mimicry of a overbearing steam engine, and then swiftly (d)evolves into a chaotic fray. Cranium-pulverizing bass and larynx-shredding screams--equally desperate in their execution--are punctuated with dizzying screeches and hums. The front half of the track is, much like its title, an exercise in asphyxiation, as Empty Joy present a sonic environment where rational thought is fraught, and where panic and fear are king. The second half, which deals in synths and seemingly open spaces, presents reprieve from the chaos--but all the same, it maintains a menacing air. Subtly suffocating, it's like the faux calm that follows an anxiety attack. All told, Drowned succeeds quite well at it's established goal, and while it undeniably remains a difficult listening experience...that's kinda the point, ain't it?
Drowned seems to defy genre. Noise? Post-rock? Hardcore? Realistically, this is the sound of sadness, grief, and anguish. Let's leave it at that.
Give Drowned a listen below, and keep Empty Joy on your radar. A full length cometh.
Providing thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy, and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a groggy-eyed, highfalutin peasantry.