The Chemist vs. The Computer - Loki
Released May 20th, 2007
There's been an ongoing conflict between creator and creation. Creators commence creating. Creations begin creating. Modifying and simplifying. At what point does the creation surpass the predecessor? The answer: As soon as we wish to uninvent it.
The subtext of a band name like The Chemist vs. The Computer holds its ground better than others and the introduction (conveniently italicized for you above) is a testament that Loki holds some interesting undertones within the context of vocalist Dan Easton's cleverly put-together lyrics and even within the heavily technical approach the band takes instrumentally. It's abnormal to come across a band this ahead of the game this early but these guys seem to be a surprisingly good anomaly in the post-hardcore scene.
The rapturous ferocity of "Coasting Toward the Tide, Not the Tide" first caught me. Exhibiting aspects of bands like Morning for the Masses with Easton's eloquent-to-hardened vocals and flush instrumental ardor, the song is a breath of fresh air for iPods burdened by hackneyed and gruff post-hardcore guff. The manner in which they conduct themselves is so appealing; you won't be able to pull away until the EP ends. Guitarists Chris Katsaros and Nick Raducha are quite the cohesive unit; constantly alternating between straightaway grinds and euphonious exchanges. On the flipside, bassist Jimmy Wernes and drummer Stephen Carr are the most explosive rhythm section I've heard in recent memory. Wernes sports a unique bass tone, one favoring a deeper and more metallic shine that collides with Carr's lightning fast change-ups and speedy deliveries. If the above descriptions are alluring, imagine what these guys sound like together. The Chemist vs. The Computer is quite the force to reckon with.
"In the Midst of the Mist" is not so much a free-form epic that proves this band's have little to no technical bounds, but more of a mid-album relief for the listener that this band is more than what the first three tracks set them up to be. While the previous songs had a jazzy sort of subtexture, the last few songs are a relentless, up-hill battle royale of crashing drums, politically involved lyrics, screams, and crushing guitars. Even in the depths of chaos in "40 Ways to Raise a Non-Racist Child" and "Same Bat, Same Bat Channel", The Chemist manage to retain their biting technical structure in the face of a more vehement direction.
This is the first review I've done in some time, and its good to stretch my creative muscle and being able to recommend a kickass band at the same time. Loki is the post-hardcore album of the summer and it should not be missed. What you'll find is a constant sonic battle between jarring structures and a smooth political/social conveyance, only ceasing to amaze when you choose to stop listening to it. The Chemist vs. The Computer may be a relatively young band, but these five guys have overturned any previous standards you thought your playlist now had set.