Let's get right into this--no frills. Aviator is a beautifully abrasive, emotional hardcore band from Massachusetts. Having only been to Massachusetts a few times, all I know about Mass is that they have Converge and Bane. Well, luckily for me, Aviator has lived up to the standard that their fathers (and contemporaries--wow) have set, and this effort is the live version of 6 incredible, mind-numbing, evocative pieces of art.
You: read this track-by-track.
"Solemn Mountain" - a perfect opening track, this song sets the mood for the release; the lead guitar punctuating the atmosphere of the rhythm like stabbing something beautiful, but the beauty remaining. It isn't so much a song as it is a short story or narrative, and an incredible one at that. The emotion begins with an aggressive spoken word; these are angry poets, barking the ballads of Bukowski and Richard Bachman. The haunting "I will always remember" at the end cements the piece in all of its artistic beauty.
"A Thousand Typewriters" - Aggression. This song begins in the anxious, battering, heavy chords, breaking rhythm like the plates your mom used to throw at your dad. After the lead kicks in, the song structure envelops you, taking you away, capturing you. And just when the melody is at a climax, the kick drum pounding like fists on a stage, the guitar stands alone, a slow riff scaling down. The drums fill, and hit the perfect beats, a jazz epic, and then it comes in--"Will we ever stop the bleeding?" Anxiety, emotion, and folks, this is a live recording. "I am still beating myself up, over everything... over nothing at all." And then the fury. The aggression. The bleeding vocal cords. Ending on the same anxiety it started with, this song is your new favorite.
"Forms (les feuilles mortes)" - Right off the bat, I appreciate this song. Knowing French, they don't capitalize the title--a grammatical correction. Awesome little bit. So let's get to the song: this jam starts off with drums, jazz chords, and a perfectly piercing bass; it sounds like the best La Dispute song, but without all the crying--all the poetry, all the art, and none of the gimmick. Out goes the jazz, and in comes the blues-y sounding punk, that remains until the military snare breaks and the lead plays shrieking, clean, and high--apathetic to the rest of the structure, and the bass flipping off the guitar strings and drums, playing on and on, with no remorse. I love when a band implements bass well, and sweet holy Christ, this band is my new favorite. That's it.
"A Thousand Monkeys" - Right off, this guitar is incredible. Truly amazing, intricate artwork. Don't let the drums and vocals confuse you: the guitar is the song. Never have I heard a band use two guitars more effectively to create true, emotive pieces of pure artwork. I mean that. The only complaint I have with this song is that they didn't close the album with it. It's the type of track that makes you close your eyes; it makes you feel. You will cry.
"I'm Sick Of Standing in The Same Place" - An incredible song. It reminds me of La Dispute but only the best parts, and none of the crying. Then this comes and I pissed myself: "I WON'T FALL BEHIND." Holy shit. The pure, unadulterated fury and aggression of this track is so incredible, I can't even stand it. This is the heaviest part of any song I've ever heard, much less a post-hardcore song. They threw the gloves off with this song, and they're hitting you right in your goddamn mouth--just like you deserve, you bastards. They end it with panic attack drums, and delusional, LSD-soaked guitar that fold in on themselves for every second of feedback. The end.
"Harvest Words" - Beginning with slow, building guitar, this song quickly opens into the broad field of hopelessness and fear. Without being dark at all, this song makes the listener experience the full range of insanity. Sanity turns to doubt, doubt leads to the fear of insanity, the fear of insanity leads to absolute paranoia, and paranoia leads to insanity. "GRIND MY TEETH TO FALL ASLEEP." Loneliness, despair, fear, hopelessness. This is good, ladies and gentlemen. This is really, really good.
This is already the best post-hardcore album of the last year...
And it's a live album...
I'll let you process that.
I'm not going to give you a long, drawn out closing statement, because I don't want to detract from the band that just shocked me into, and out of, existence. Just... listen to this band. I cannot express this enough: this band is easily the best post-hardcore band out there right now. If you're not listening to them, you're an absolute dumbass.