My Heart to Joy at the Same Tone - Heavenly Bodies
Record Label: Triumph of Life
Release Date: July 27, 2007
I would imagine that to an uninitiated listener or anyone in Sunday school, screamo done right probably sounds much like screamo done horribly wrong. While its fans may appreciate the scathing vocals, supercharged riffs, and carefully layered guitars, conversely, a detractor may be able to listen to the same music and simply equate it to strained vocals looped over drums and guitar amps perpetually crashing up and down the stairs in MC Escher's apartment.
Therein lies the problem with Heavenly Bodies, the debut EP from Connecticut quartet My Heart to Joy at the Same Tone. Even to a trained ear, it's still thirteen disorganized minutes on those stairs. While "Can You Feel It, Captain Compost!?" stabs in the right melodic direction at an actual song structure, the rest of the EP feels far too haphazard for its own good. Gang vocals and frenzied guitar on the title track "Ethics" have decent potential to work as an interlude, an album bookend, or a chaotic transition tightly woven opening, but instead, the track ends prematurely at the fifty second mark, serving simply as a sneak preview of sorts: "Long staircase ahead."
Even in screamo, 'chaotic' is a distinction, or a descriptive gimmick that a record can only employ so far before the listener begins to suspect the songs were just thrown together at last minute, and rushed to the studio without even a passing thought. Even screamo needs some semblance of musical structure, and Heavenly Bodies is proof of this.