Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Review: Kato - Came With Nothing/Left With Nothing EP

This band caught my attention for two killer reasons: 1) They're from Charlotte, NC/Rock Hill, SC--which is where I spent my teenage years and 2) They're donating all of the profits of this album. What's even better than a benefit album? The charities they chose: a no-kill animal shelter in NC and a children's home in SC. Both of these are incredibly noble and necessary--and, unfortunately, overlooked-- charities. However, their hearts aren't the only thing made out of gold; this album kicks ass, and takes all of your names.

This track-by-track is for the children, the puppies, and the kittens that will live happier lives because of this release:

"The Room" - This song starts with a jammy little intro, almost reminiscent of one of the more LSD-influenced Smashing Pumpkins songs--all reverb, all fuzz, and a dad-rock drum beat to back up this fun. However, once the vocals come in, the guitar cleans up, showing the serrated, cutting edge of the vocals. Enter a kick ass lead riff and an end jam, and this short, beautiful song gets you in the perfect mood for Kato.

"2:37" - The first vibe I got from this song was Ruiner. Now, regardless of your personal feelings about the Maryland assholes (self-admitted, of course), that is a huge compliment coming from me. Separated by a crushing break, the end of the song is exactly what I wanted: more emotionally-driven aggression--with the haunting, "2:37 INSIDE OF MY HEAD. I'LL BEAT THIS HORSE 'TIL THE DAY THAT IT'S DEAD." I can't shake it. Well done, boys.

"Walking Out" - Alone in a dark room, with no chance of salvation. Hopelessness, loneliness, fear, anxiety. Those are all feelings that this song will inject deep into your veins. Like a slow cut from a dull blade, this song takes its time with you--it doesn't let up--it gives you time to think about all of your mistakes. This song is more effective at motivated repentance than the Catholic church.

"I Will Repeat My Mistakes" - Fast, dark, heavy. This song is only 1:00 long, but it's all that's necessary to convey the incredible, inspiring message of this song: " I refuse, to abuse, These hands Ive been given for an honest days living." Whether in context of animal abuse, child abuse, spousal abuse, or any sort of physical abuse, these are powerful words meant for a powerful message. And it got through to me. Incredible.

"Came With Nothing (Left With Nothing)" - Following bands like Neurosis, the intro to this track is sludgy, dark, and heavy; after 2:00, opening up with muddled, fuzzy lead over the clunking, punching bass. Finally, at 3:30, we get the let up of clean, reverb-heavy guitars, and the melody of crisp, slow drums. like taking a deep breath after almost asphyxiating, this song is fresh, beautiful, and overwhelmingly pure. Damn, the guitar just dropped out for a perfect, spine-tingling second, showcasing the drums before going back into the heavy, slow riff that dominates this track. This is an instrumental track that is just as moving as their vocally-charged songs--this is a rarity.

The ending of, simply feedback, is the perfect close to this beautiful, emotive album that is both crushingly aggressive, and filled with stomach-turning ecstasy. Even without the motivating aspect of donating to charities, this album is beautiful, heavy, and necessary to the hardcore scene--presenting a mix of sounds that every single person in the scene can benefit from. Buy this.