Buildings. Two syllables. Direct and immovable. It seems a fitting name for this Minneapolis three-piece and their second album Melt, Cry, Sleep.
Their sound is tough to pin to a genre but, make no bones about it, the dudes are angry and loud. There are a lot of familiar elements at play in their work. The shout-speak vocals and headbanging syncopation in “Born on a Bomb” gives a forceful, constantly driving impression reminiscent of STNNNG and the guitar-bass interplay of “I Don’t Love my Dog Anymore” brings Jesus Lizard to mind. At other points in the album, I found myself thinking of Pissed Jeans and maybe a bit of Future of the Left and FT (The Shadow Government). I’m unsure of the album title’s significance, but it seems a bit out of place for a record with song names like “Born on a Bomb”, “Mishaped Head” [sic], “and “Wrong Cock.” Rather than the soft imagery of the title, the general tone is pissed off, shy of the vitriolic rage of Pissed Jeans, but angry nonetheless.
The songs, despite their rather direct tone, switch gears constantly, from pissed off ragers to calm breath-catching moments within, to spastic interplay between the instruments. “Mishaped Head” shifts between loud guitar, minimally-backed vocal barks, and back again before it concludes with a good minute of feedback-driven noise that puts an angry exclamation on an already bursting song. And, ultimately, if there’s an adjective for Melt, Cry, Sleep, it would be “bursting.” The sound throughout is loosely controlled—on the verge of an ugly meltdown at any point—but it never succumbs into that category, remaining just contained enough to hold musical form. In “Night Cop,” there is even an epic post-rock progression that lasts all of a half-minute before jumping back into Brian Lake’s barking.
There’s a lot that can be said about Buildings but, while their music is stylistically challenging, the overall tone is as direct as it comes. The last two minutes of the album, in “Crystal City,” are mostly discordant chords topped by Lake’s repetition of “fuck you,” and it seems entirely appropriate instead of trite.
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Posted Aug. 13, 2013, 9:06 a.m.
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