There’s nary a skronk, scrape, scratch, squeal or screech Canada’s Seminary don’t pull out of their guitars on The Bow. Clearly, these are musicians who are intimately familiar with their instruments, but I felt there were times they overpowered the rest of the band. The staccato, telegraphing riffs dominate the eight songs that comprise The Bow. The straightforward drums and vocals seem to get lost amid the guitar-driven chaos to such an extent that barely heard cymbal crashes on “Protestant Work Ethic” add desperately needed pizzazz from the rest of the band.
Unlike the guitars, the vocals have only one setting: frothing J.R. Hayes psychosis. It’s an impressive shit fit (kiss off “Pellicle” closes with nothing but his ranting), but stacked against the musical piracy, the screams may be too restrained, too one-note for the multifaceted chaos behind them. The phrasings feel too familiar. I wonder if a more aslant approach would have set off the songs to better effect.
Right now Seminary’s skronk ‘n’ grind is all over the page, but a little more focus and some unity could really push them over the top. You can check out The Bow here.