Flash back to a year ago, Facing New York put out their self-titled debut full length on Five One (Eastern Youth, All State Champion). The album was a great departure from their prior work, an EP aptly named Swimming Not Treading that had the band sounding more akin to Treble Charger than Dismemberment Plan, Jawbox, or any of the other more indie credible names you could liken them to after listening to that full length. Needless to say, the leap of progression paid off. The album won critical acclaim and even garnered them 2005’s Album of the Year from Acclaimedpunk.com.
Amity has experienced a similar musical shift with the release of their Negative Progression debut, Internecine. In 2003, the band released a five song EP called Amor Vincit Omnia. On that release, the band would draw comparisons to popular pop-punk acts like Rufio and Over It. Internecine is a significant departure from that Amity and it’s likely no coincidence that between that EP (2003) and this full-length (2006), the band released a split with none other than those mindful shapes-shifters, Facing New York. Six degrees of Kevin Bacon, anyone?
Unlike Facing New York’s progression, Amity’s is more acceptable and therefore more accessible. I had a problem with FNY’s full length because they took a scorch the earth policy with their old sound. Rather than doing the same, Amity has merely beefed up their previous sound and incorporated an odd song structure to set off their brand of emotional post-hardcore. Vocalist Joe Sherman conjures shades of Jason Gleason, both Further Seems Forever and Action Reaction, but lacks the vocal punch to warrant the kind of attention Gleason gets as a frontman. Ultimately, it isn’t Sherman that is going to make or break this album for listeners. It’s that odd and ambitious song structure. At times, it’s downright frustrating to listen to (“Tri-City Funk Review”, “Mississippi Bedroom”). The math-rock fad had a shorter life span than screamo and there’s likely some wisdom in that.
Grandiose is the only ’ose we know: “Mississippi Bedroom”
Snowbirds and Townies: Action Reaction, Facing New York, The Beautiful Mistake
This review is a user submitted review from Russ Hockenbury. You can see all of Russ Hockenbury's submitted reviews here.
I lost a lot of respect for this band since the release of Amor Vincit Omnia. It was a great EP with great guys playing the music. Since that time though, the band has been completely re-vamped minus one member. In my opinion, the name of the band should have been changed to go along with the new sound and members. Instead the old name, and the credibility that came along with it, were kept. That is a cheap way to go about creating essentially a new band and hence the loss in respect.
On the other hand, Facing New York released two very different albums but essentially the same ideal behind both; make the sound that they felt most comfortable with. Although it took me a little while to get into it, the music and talent displayed is just outstanding. I would suggest Facing New York over the current Amity anyday.
It's not like the current lineup kicked the door in and ousted all the other members in some crazy coup. They all quit, and close friends to the band were brought in to take their place. I actually think the name is more relevant now, seeing as Amity means friendship.
Math rock, I guess, could be described as music with intricate, irregular timings that have to take precise calculating and counting by the members to be able to pull off. Like, ehh...Mars Volta would be a good example because their music is all over the place and the band has to know exactly when shit's changing so they don't sound like jackasses.
Overview is one of the WORST bands I have ever seen live. You clearly have no taste.
Overview are amazing, I've seen them around 10 times, and each time is bettere than the last. The Virgin Misconception is one of the best records I've heard all year, and I'm so suprised that they aren't signed yet.