Somber Cadence/Brian Huntress
House #3, Francesca Woodman (1976)
Sleep On It! Records
Release Date: October 18, 2015
It’s rare that a record is so disturbing to me that I have a difficult time listening to it. This split has managed to achieve levels of shudder that I don’t think any release ever has before. It is interesting to me that Somber Cadence’s bandcamp references a trigger warning of “This release deals with a variety of intense themes, including sexual violence, murder, suicide, alcoholism, and abuse.” when Brian Huntress is the offender that ruins the release for me.
An interesting twist to this release being produced digitally is that depending on which way you approach this record the tracklist changes. I personally find the Somber Cadence tracks more enjoyable so I will address them first. “Ingomar Grey” reminds me of a modernized version of the Oh Brother Where Art Thou Soundtrack. It features Beach Boy’s like ‘Oooh’s at one point’ and is harrowing but still enjoyable. Both of Somber Cadence’s tracks consist of just electric guitar and vocals and they are pleasant. “Every Sadist’s Working In My Masochistic Brain” continues Somber Cadence’s theme of referencing Thumbelina as its main character. It’s a dark song as well, but still enjoyable. If you are looking for lo-fi folk/indie rock songs then you will enjoy Somber Cadence.
Brian Huntress’ songs, on the other hand, are just unlistenable to me. “Voicemail” features vocals that appear to be recorded from a voicemail (how ironic). It’s musically an electronic version of noise rock but just is hellish and really unenjoyable. I have yet to listen to all of “He Was Singing” in one sitting. It’s a dark disturbing song that deals with themes similar to Orson Scott Card’s Lost Boys. It also inexplicably has 4 minutes of dead silence at the end of the track stretching it out to 9 minutes long for no apparent reason.
All in all, I really enjoy Somber Cadence’s two songs on this split. The same can’t be said for Brian Huntress. I would recommend listening to the two songs by the former and enjoying them while skipping the latter's.
Reviewed by Rob 1340