Saturday, February 16, 2013

Review:Frameworks-Small Victories

After reading my review of Narrative's newest effort (which you can find here), Ryan Hiebendahl asked me to review the newest release on 13th Floor Records. After learning that it was Frameworks, and after ordering the vinyl here, I was more than thrilled at the opportunity to review this killer band and their new effort. So, let's start with the basics: Frameworks is a post-hardcore band from Gainesville, Florida--which is already a good sign if you know anything about Hot Water Music (or music in general)--that plays furious, spastic music with just the right amount of melody, and balanced perfectly by the punctuation of harsh screams, yells, and tightly-tuned snare.

Here's a track-by-track. Eat it up.

"Ida" - The intro to this song is deceptive, with its chaotic opening chords, the battered screams, and the fast drumming. However, after exactly 40 seconds, we get to see the stunning, inner workings of Frameworks, which is their ability to be emotive and evocative, while still be crushingly intense. I would be lying if I tried to say that this song didn't make me cry the first time I heard it. With the break at the end, the distant screams and the sonic atmosphere? Yes. I cried.

"Sewn" - What an incredible track. The fury of the rhythm guitar is set off perfectly by the pretty, almost twinkling notes of the lead, and that's just for the first 12 seconds. At thirteen seconds, the guitars crunch and smash into each other before resolving into a twinkly post-hardcore riff that sounds like La Dispute without the crying and sulking. This is hardcore, people, it's just breathtaking, mature hardcore. The combination of feedback in the bridge, the pounding, almost-tribal drums, makes me want to dance and act like a damned fool, so thank god I was snapped out of it by the end break that paralyzed me.

"Model Homes" - This is it. This is the opening to the song that begins the future of hardcore. Through the first three tracks, we can see more and more of Frameworks' personality, and their prowess as artists, but the intro to this track is the exact natural progression of what's necessary in hardcore--beauty. I cannot stress that word enough, especially with Frameworks. Even the discordant moments in this song, the harsh vocals, the deafening drums, they all serve to make this piece of music more beautiful by comparison. This is artwork, this is beauty.

"Old Chokes" - After the last three tracks, this is what you've been waiting for. This is, honestly, the most beautiful piece of hardcore music I've heard in years. Utilizing horns in the same way that their predecessors in American Football and The Promise Ring did, they allow the music to speak for itself. They let the vocals, although they are constant, be the background to the sonic masterpiece that is unraveling and revealing itself to us. This song is the musical equivalent to the film "Tree of Life," which, if you don't live in a grave, is one of the greatest movies of all time, and one of the highest cinematic achievements of EVER. 

I've heard a complaint that post-hardcore "gets boring," but if you're bored with this effort, you need to check your pulse. Frameworks is here, and they're changing the whole game of music, art, and sound.