October 23, 2012 - Topshelf
On their third album, Pennsylvania band We Were Skeletons come into their own, sounding a lot more like Fugazi than City Of Caterpillar. Using understated rhythms and airy basslines (see the downright funky “Slow Death”), these guys have surpassed being just another band to pile onto your weeping buddies to at the end of a long, sweaty, homoerotic basement show. They are every bit as urgent as Touché Amoré, but in a way that bubbles beneath the surface (check out the stutter-step syncopation in “Tremors”), never quite climaxing until the end of their four- and five-minute tracks. The vocals are samey, but if Saetia-style screaming and harrowing, off-kilter high-end wails akin to Hot Cross work for you, fill your boots. The best parts of this album are when the band settle down, embrace their Fugazi worship and let things play out (the understated instrumental “Blood Tongue” and plodding “End All Suffering” are two prime examples), never rushing their inner groove and letting the off-kilterness shine through. One of the better first- wave screamo bands to come along in the past few years, maybe only the Kidcrash and Juvenescent Beat! approach the same levels of legitimacy for this heart-on-sleeve, Revolution Summer-style hardcore. Blame & Aging is another step up for We Were Skeletons. Just please, please don’t call it skramz: nothing this good should be called something so goofy.