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Since by Man - Pictures from the Hotel Apocalypse Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.5
Musicianship 8.75
Lyrics 8.75
Production 8
Creativity 8.25
Lasting Value 8.25
Reviewer Tilt 8.5
Final Verdict: 84%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9
Musicianship 10
Lyrics 10
Production 8.5
Creativity 10
Lasting Value 9.5
Reviewer Tilt 10
Average: 96%

Since by Man - Pictures from the Hotel Apocalypse

Reviewed by: Tom Good (12/22/06)
Since By Man- Pictures From The Hotel Apocalypse
Record Label: Revelation Records
Release Date: October 25th, 2005


A while ago, a friend recommended that I listen to a CD by a band called Since By Man. I had heard bits and pieces of their material at various points and honestly was not impressed. Needless to say, I never really gave it a chance. When I opened a package in the mail containing Pictures From The Hotel Apocalypse, I recognized it and decided to finally give it spin. I really wish that I had taken the advice of my friend a little earlier because I almost missed out on an incredibly exciting release brimful with energy and some of the most straight forward hardcore I have heard in a while.

The album starts out with front man Sam Macon screaming “Emergency, Emergency!” setting the tone for the rest of the album to come. What follows is 40 minutes of no frills hardcore in the vein of many bands including Some Girls and Converge. “Emergency And Me” alone gives nods to many groups with driving guitar riffs similar to Every Time I Die and a breakdown rife with enough hammer ons and pull offs to please and The Fall Of Troy fan. The staggered drums on “Young America” display a type of perfected controlled chaos that fit perfectly with the cacophonous guitars and vein popping screams layered on top. In fact, the drumming on this album is very well formatted in that you can tell each part was written with the song in mind. The guitar playing is also surprisingly unique in a genre full of stale breakdowns. The Police-esque bridge section in “Insider Lines” is different and adds a completely new feel to the song, which ends in a wholly different place than it started.

This is not a standard sing-scream affair like those saturating the scene recently. This is how hardcore should be done. Sam Macon holds nothing back vocally on this album. The only times his barrage of yelling lets up is when he chooses to employ a singing method similar to something heard on a These Arms Are Snakes record, the whole time preaching lyrics sure to be crowd pleasers at a live show. Lyrically, Pictures From The Hotel Apocalypse is intelligent, sarcastic, and a giant leap in quality from their previous efforts. Topics are never spoken about directly, but instead included in a poetic technique full of sassy metaphors and subtle hints about true meanings of the subject matter. This method of delivery is welcome addition in the hardcore genre, which is often too lyrically blatant. The only place that the album falters is on “Binary Heart Attack” which is a little too electronically influenced, sounding out of place when compared to the rest of the record.

Pictures From The Hotel Apocalypse
comes in a white jewel case. The cover artwork is minimalist at best containing a small logo with stark lettering giving the track-list and band name written entirely in a simple black and white. When you open the thick booklet contained within, the drab colors are replaced entirely with rich color photography containing images simultaneously beautiful and disturbing. Why am I even mentioning the artwork? This contrasting artistic style acts as a striking parallel to the blistering hardcore portrayed by Since By Man. There is a certain simplicity to the style, which can be mistaken for being plain if taken at face value. However, if you take the time to really listen to the album, there is an entirely colorful world of inspiring and intriguing hardcore contained underneath.

Tracklisting1. Emergency And Me
2. Lactating Teens
3. Young America
4. Insider Lines
5. Match On Action
6. Binary Heart Attack
7. Quid Pro Quo Motherfucker
8. The Neon Wilderness
9. Invocation
10. Photographer Ex Post Facto
Listen to Since By ManMyspace | Purevolume | Revelation Records Site
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 20.
01:42 PM on 12/22/06
#2
screamoutmyname
through being cool
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this is an amazing cd... no questions asked.
01:42 PM on 12/22/06
#3
RomeoAGoGo
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Yes.
02:28 PM on 12/22/06
#4
jdgtrplyr
that'll do
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So glad you reviewed this record, great review at that!
05:08 PM on 12/22/06
#5
InaGreendase
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Uhhhh...this was one of the best albums of 2005. That I will agree with you on.

But some of your statements make absolutely no sense. This couldn't be farther from "straight" / "no frills" hardcore. You even mention bands like Some Girls, Converge, the Fall of Troy and Every Time I Die -- none of these bands are remotely close to standard hardcore. Off the top of my head I'd say the only type of standard / no frills hardcore around is Bridge 9's metal-less releases and some of Rivalry's stuff. Since by Man adds in electronics, weird breakdowns, muttered vocals...all sorts of stuff you're not going to hear in "straight" / "no frills" hardcore, dude.

Anyway, this band's first album was maybe even better -- it was like the middle ground between Dillinger and Refused. This one's more Vaux and mewithoutYou.
08:32 PM on 12/22/06
#6
tcemoo
Time I Got Back to the Good Life
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haha i remember when this band used to be "cool" in the local scene here and played in every fucking rathole you could find... they sucked and still do.
08:44 PM on 12/22/06
#7
ramblinger
...is on the diving board
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haha i remember when this band used to be "cool" in the local scene here and played in every fucking rathole you could find... they sucked and still do.

nice.

...and what is the name of your band? what do you do to contribute to your local music scene?
08:54 PM on 12/22/06
#8
tcemoo
Time I Got Back to the Good Life
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haha fuck the scene. i grew out of that shit like crazy. now i like real music.

and i don't have a band, cuz i don't wanna put everyone else to shame ;)

but in all honesty: some of us want to play music, the rest of us just want to enjoy it. i play bass, but i only do it as a recreational sort of thing, i have no desire to be in a band.

i don't find anything enjoyable about Since By Man, and last time i checked it wasn't illegal to have an opinion...
10:26 PM on 12/22/06
#9
NigelK
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You're 18? And you've already "grown out" of the scene?

Just so you know, there are plenty of bands playing "real music" in the "scene", if you search them out.
But what do I know?
11:05 PM on 12/22/06
Nowisnotthetime
TFC
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Uhhhh...this was one of the best albums of 2005. That I will agree with you on.

But some of your statements make absolutely no sense. This couldn't be farther from "straight" / "no frills" hardcore. You even mention bands like Some Girls, Converge, the Fall of Troy and Every Time I Die -- none of these bands are remotely close to standard hardcore. Off the top of my head I'd say the only type of standard / no frills hardcore around is Bridge 9's metal-less releases and some of Rivalry's stuff. Since by Man adds in electronics, weird breakdowns, muttered vocals...all sorts of stuff you're not going to hear in "straight" / "no frills" hardcore, dude.

Anyway, this band's first album was maybe even better -- it was like the middle ground between Dillinger and Refused. This one's more Vaux and mewithoutYou.

#1. You have this impression of "no frills / standard" hardcore as shitty power chords with a punk beat and screaming.
#2. Converge is what many consider THE standard when it comes to hardcore. They're phenomenal and a lot of people think they are what hardcore is and should be when referring to the genre hardcore.
#3. You just compared Since By Man to mewithoutyou. Even MWY's first album, their hardest, sounds nothing like Since By Man. I love both those bands but if you're going to criticize Tom Good's comparisons to SBM than have some of your own that make some sense.

Great fucking review Tom. Extremely well-written, descriptive, and nothing about Gingivitis, excellent work and keep it up!
11:10 PM on 12/22/06
Nowisnotthetime
TFC
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haha fuck the scene. i grew out of that shit like crazy. now i like real music.

and i don't have a band, cuz i don't wanna put everyone else to shame ;)

but in all honesty: some of us want to play music, the rest of us just want to enjoy it. i play bass, but i only do it as a recreational sort of thing, i have no desire to be in a band.

i don't find anything enjoyable about Since By Man, and last time i checked it wasn't illegal to have an opinion...

Dude, you're totally right. Were you just, like, totally shit-talking on Since By Man at your winter formal? I bet you were all, "Dude, fuck those Since By Man guys. Hey, did you know I play bass?Cause I do. Have you guys heard the new Explosions in the Sky? No? Yeah, well you wouldn't have because you don't know real music like me."


Dude, you're so cool. Please reply to this ASAP so you can give us a step by step breakdown on how to be totally killer sweet like you.
04:20 PM on 12/23/06
tcemoo
Time I Got Back to the Good Life
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You're 18? And you've already "grown out" of the scene?

Just so you know, there are plenty of bands playing "real music" in the "scene", if you search them out.
But what do I know?

Yes, I'm 18 (6 hours away from 19) and I've grown out of the music scene. The times I mentioned previously in this post was 3-4 years ago. When I was a freshman in high school. When I thought crap like this was "cool".

I'm sure in some scenes there are bands that play real music, but last time I went to "shows" in Milwaukee (probably about 2 years ago at this point) all the music sounded the same and I left early bored because after three screamo bands in a row I just couldn't take it anymore.

And "nowisnotthetime" i have no idea what the fuck you just said, so I'm not going to respond to you. Duder asked what band I was in, and I replied that I'm not in one but I thought it would be an appropriate place to throw in that I do play music, just none publicly.
07:47 PM on 12/23/06
AshesAshes
.....
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I love this album lactating teens is my aim screen name for a reason
07:49 PM on 12/23/06
AshesAshes
.....
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haha fuck the scene. i grew out of that shit like crazy. now i like real music.

and i don't have a band, cuz i don't wanna put everyone else to shame ;)

but in all honesty: some of us want to play music, the rest of us just want to enjoy it. i play bass, but i only do it as a recreational sort of thing, i have no desire to be in a band.

i don't find anything enjoyable about Since By Man, and last time i checked it wasn't illegal to have an opinion...

Last time I checked Since By Man was music
10:27 PM on 12/23/06
InaGreendase
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#1. You have this impression of "no frills / standard" hardcore as shitty power chords with a punk beat and screaming.

Congratulations, you just defined no frills hardcore.

#2. Converge is what many consider THE standard when it comes to hardcore. They're phenomenal and a lot of people think they are what hardcore is and should be when referring to the genre hardcore.

Converge are hardly the standard for hardcore as they play a much more ambitious, metallic version of it. I think Minor Threat would be the standard for hardcore. And even if they were, many of Converge's songs are hardly straightforward, nor are they void of frills, i.e. Jane Doe -- Bannon's voice is mind-numbingly abrasive and the time changes are ridiculous. Time changes are not something prevalent in a "no frills hardcore" song.

I realize there's a huge difference sonically between Since by Man and the first 2 mewithoutYou full-lengths but if you compare the overall dynamics, a lot of the atmosphere on SBM's more restrained songs, and the moments when SBM's vocalist delves into more talking-like patterns you can definitely draw parallels.
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