Frameworks - Small Victories
Record Label: 13th Floor Records
Release Date: February 12, 2013
Hailing from good old Gainesville, Florida, Frameworks plays post-hardcore to the tune of frantic guitars and cathartic vocals with some impressive musicianship woven in. It’s not a formula that is totally new, but as they bring some textures a la Touche Amore and even The Blood Brothers, there’s a sense of urgency and a complete lack of bullshit tactics to pad the songwriting. As a young band, there are a few moments where things feel a little off the beaten path, but in the big picture, Small Victories is aptly named – it is sure to put the band on the radar of anyone still infatuated with Wave bands that bring equal parts rhythm and melody to the table.
The aggressive dissonance that opens “Ida” haunts the track in a good way, purveying its Blood Brothers-like tone in the staccato strumming that pokes back into the mix at times. However, this track shows itself to meld more into a melodically-tilted jam of somewhat somber proportions as the shifts from mammoth strumming to simple, yet well crafted melodies – all back by some pretty intense drumming – make this a quite stirring introduction. The song folds right into “Sewn”, a cut that feels like a Pianos Become the Teeth track in its combination of almost surreal melodies and forward-thinking drumming. While it does feel very familiar in that context, the constant push in the songwriting makes it feel as if you never get a chance to breathe in that these guys never let up even when they aren’t jamming full-tilt.
Slowly seeping into “Model Homes”, we get a short but sweet chance to wander into a world of tapping and blistering scream. While that notion pops up at times elsewhere on this track and on the EP, this introduction sets a dynamic stage for the bolstered crunch of this song’s verse/chorus type structure. It’s arguably here where Frameworks hits the mark the hardest in their delivery – still giving us tons of musically intriguing riffs to soak up without losing the bite that comes with the territory. Still, ending on a post-rock sliced note in “Old Chokes” is a slight jaunt from the other three tracks, but even in its lush guitars and vibrant aura of sound it doesn’t lose sight of the emotional pull that a song like this produce. The vocal pattern here is certainly tough to shake, and not in a bad way, as the double beat screams lay perfectly over such colossal instrumentation.
In a case such as Frameworks, I am hesitant to just say they should focus on finding a way to truly set themselves apart from the bands they are influenced by. In reality, there’s more than enough here to consider that Small Victories is adventurous and confident enough to warrant Frameworks might be fine just continuing along the path they’ve set themselves – even as this release progresses from their previous EP Every Day is the Same. It’s familiar enough to not feel strange, but peculiar enough to keep your ears tuned in from front to back. Frameworks are still fairly young as a band, but Small Victories proves they have plenty of emotion and artistic drive to pack into whatever they’re doing – which is more than enough reason to consider giving this EP a listen.