“It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well. It isn’t only the synonyms; there are also the antonyms. After all, what justification is there for a word which is simply the opposite of some other words?”
If, indeed, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Los Angeles’ Syntax have gone the full Single White Female on Discordance Axis with their nine song demo from a couple years ago. Aside from a truly uneven mix – the drums are often too big and the vocals don’t sound like they’re in the same ZIP code as the rest of the band – Syntax have clearly committed every note of Jouhou to memory (a certain notoriously opinionated singer disagrees with me, so what the fuck do I know). Hell, the guitars even do that signature Rob Marton move where they cut across the drums at half time and when Syntax do slow down, the influence of “A Leaden Stride to Nowhere” is obvious.
So yes, Syntax wear their influences in the open with pride (Assuck was also mentioned), but they’re off to a good start and possess a keen sense of what makes a song flow and move. The pacing across the nine songs is spot on and there’s a cohesion to the performance. Clearly this is band that’s all pulling in the same direction.
Syntax are so thoroughly awash in Discordance Axis-isms that I’m a little uncertain who they want to be. I’d like to see Syntax take their obvious influences and craft their own musical vocabulary, but if you’re going to steal ideas, that's definitely a decent band to pillage. You can check out their demo here.