Kill Sadie - Experiments in Expectation
Record Label: Dim Mak Records
Release Date: January 14, 2003
The post-hardcore scene could be summed up in one possibly-contested word: unpredictable. Wrapped in the raw emotion of early punk and late-80's hardcore, and laced with jazz-like physique and unsafe song structures, the post-hardcore scene isn't for everybody, but for those few, they crave the creative.
Like Refused's The Shape of Punk to Come and Botch's We Are the Romans, Kill Sadie's last-standing full-length, Experiments in Expectation, is heavy and always keeps the listener on edge for what is to come.
The album begins with a few simple bass riffs before launching into an all-out attack on "The Ivy League Donors (The Prescription Epidemic)," where lead singer Steve Snere, now of These Arms of Snakes, rips apart his vocal chords in just the first few minutes sounding like he's competing to stay above all the instruments accompanying him. Guitarist Jay Clark and Patrick Scott keep switching guitar riffs like a 10-year-old kid with ADHD. The song even wears itself out into a jam that slowly looses its breath.
Now that's only in the first track. "Laugh Track For Contemporary Music" and "Erf (The Place You Live)" will bring more of the same. What makes Experiments in Expectation great, is the irony in the album's title. After two bombastic opening tracks, "Rebirth Through Adaptation" slows things as a foggy instrumental track while "The Quieting/Function of the Mouth" is about as acoustic as this album will get, sounding like a Murder By Death lo-fi b-side. The crown jewel is "Untitled Number Three Hundred and Thirty Three," whose repetitive quality, duel vocals, engaging use of electronic instruments and distant screams makes it as haunting as much heightening.
The album continues to ride back and forth between spastic and calming instrumentals with "The Cocktail Party Effect" and "A Ride in the Centrifuge" into the eight-minute closer "An Antiquated Bluff," combining every element of the album and every curve ball the listener may or may not have come to expect at this point.
Kill Sadie were short-lived, but many of the members would go on to bigger and even greater bands. Experiments in Expectation is a testament in the post-hardcore scene, but a stone tablet that unfortunately will be dug up by some, and walked over by others.