Monday, August 22, 2011

Demo-lition Derby: Syntax

“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?”

George Orwell

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.


DesiccatedVeins said...

I definitely dig this, think I'll play it on my show Wednesday night. These guys are a lot more accomplished than Rogyapa, that's for sure.

Andrew Childers said...

that's exactly what i was thinking. this is what i'd like to see rogyapa grow into. syntax are still trying a little too hard to follow their influences, but i think the raw material is there.

Moesby said...

Very cool, reminds me a bit of Asterisk at times. On a side note, all the tracks are labelled "Track 1-9" in my Media Player - are there actual song titles?

Andrew Childers said...

i had the same issue. i didn't get one from the band but i'll post it if they send it to me.

Bill Willingham IV, Esquire said...

It wasn't all that long ago (I believe it was in your Asterisk* review) that you stated there was a dearth of bands jocking DxAx's style.

Did a lot of young bands read that and take it as a challenge?

Perpetual Strife said...

Quit your book learnin' college boy. That said, shameless copycats aren't my thing, on the other-hand, like many times, i find simply reading your reviews to be more enjoyable than what's actually reviewed.

On a side note, Google "Chris Mason's new Mask." any rumors floating around that Nashville or Columbus might make it to the eastern conference?

Anonymous said...

I had the same issue with the tracklisting as you guys, but it's easily remedied. Just open up the actual folder they're in on your computer or drive, and the files themselves will be named the correct song titles.

Andrew Childers said...

aha. thanks for the catch, nigel. i hadn't noticed that.

bill: i know, right? i've been having tons of DA-related convos with people lately and it seems like it's just now that people are really starting to embrace their influence. in 15 more years we'll hear them trying to be gridlink.