Sunday, 21 September 2014

Colombian Necktie - Twilight Upon Us (Album Review)

Album Type: Full-Length
Date Released: 19/08/14
Label: Self-Release

Twilight Upon Us” DD track list:

1). Stockholm '73 (03:32)
2). Guiding Light (03:01)
3). Play the Game (03:28)
4). Alternate Dimensions (02:59)
5). Weep for the Future (03:58)
6). Drought (03:59)
7). Sleepwalking (03:34)
8). These Three Words (2:28)
9). Ready to Burn (03:15)
10). Kevins Song (10:40)


Los Angeles sludgecore unit, COLOMBIAN NECKTIE, is readying to unleash their mammoth debut full-length, Twilight Upon Us, upon unsuspecting masses.

Named in honor of a song by Big Black but more commonly known as a method of murder where the victim's throat is slashed and the tongue is pulled through the open wound, COLOMBIAN NECKTIE’s Twilight Upon Us, produced by Erol “Rollie” Ulug (Graf Orlock) at Bright Lights Studios, is the sonic equivalent of this violent and visceral act boasting thirteen maniacal tracks of dark, riff-heavy, emotionally stirring audio menace.

Since forming in the Los Angeles in the Fall of 2010, the band -- vocalist Scott Werren, guitarists Juan Hernandez-Cruz and Ben Daniels, drummer Ben Brinckerhoff and bassist Alex DuPuis -- has earned a reputation for their punishing riffs and maniacal DIY work ethic. Though clearly rooted in hardcore, tracks like the syncopated, sludgy death march of "Play The Game" and midtempo thrash of "Drought," complete with squealing synths, add a welcome dose of variance to an album that's uncompromising in its aggression. "We don't feel like we fit in any one genre, we just kind of slam things against a wall and focus more on how it makes us feel than where it fits in," Hernandez-Cruz admits. "Our influences range from Cave In and Snapcase to Orchid and Page 99 so we never try to limit ourselves when it comes to what we do stylistically."

It hasn't been a painless ride for the members of COLOMBIAN NECKTIE however and correspondingly, much of Twilight Upon Us is rooted in tragedy as evidenced in the ten-minute opus "Kevin's Song." "Kevin was a close friend of ours and former bandmate who actually brought the band together. When he passed away, something came over us and we started writing differently," Hernandez-Cruz reflects. "The tragedy was really heavy because Kevin was just driving to a show in San Francisco and we knew it could have been any of us." Instead of falling into depression, the band used their friend's death as the catalyst to the manifestation of Twilight Upon Us

The Band:

Scott Werren
Ben Daniel
Juan Hernandez
Ben Radz
Alex DuPuis


Furious hardcore sludge pummelling your face into unconscious bliss, while screaming obscenities at you, pretty much sums up Colombian Necktie's newest “Twilight Upon Us.” For a band from the west coast these guys have a heavy east coast hardcore feel. What really sets the album apart and breaks up the riff-fest nicely are the cool oddball sections like the phased out spacey interlude of the opener “Stockholm '73” or the outro to the second track “Guiding Light.”

The third track “Play the Game” has an angry, bouncy and marching riff into a bunch of pretty cool faster variations and is absurdly catchy for such a heavy song. Strippers everywhere rejoice you finally have more badass heavy music to dance to and can stop pretending to like hip hop! This is the best track on the album and the outro has a great solo and some awesome very old school styled lead guitar (around 3:05 like vintage hot shit soloing from the late 60s). Although short the 4th track “Alternate Dimensions” reminds me of some of the band Twilight's work and travelling into some dark spiralling black metal ambiance. Actually if you had Mike Hill singing this track, it could be mistaken for the band Tombs. Which is great because Tombs are fucking awesome.

“Drought” is undeniably heavy and I'm sure crushes live especially when Colombian Necktie starts the chugging riff into the open tremolo picked section. The 7th track “Sleepwalking” begins with a section that reminds me a bit of the band Hull's interludes on their great album “Beyond the Lightless Sky” and closes with furious hardcore riff switching. Actually Hull, Tombs, and Colombian Necktie would make a pretty fucking great tour.

Closing the album, with by far the longest track “Kevins Song” enters into some Mastodonian territory from way back when Mastodon was groundbreaking instead of milquetoast, the quickly cart wheels into a pretty well done yet short ambient wash. I can't really think of anything offhand to directly compare the following section to; it's more noise-rock oriented then the rest of the album and is a cool curveball to throw on the final track. Weirdly moving into a Western section with some Mexican fried horns you feel like you just walked onto the set of “Casa de mi Padre” with less reverb. When the guitars come back in it sounds somewhat similar to Cable's last album “The Last Convict.” Overall a fitting close to a fantastically crafted album.

Going deeper down the wormhole as “Twilight Upon Us” progresses, it seems to get more experimental and displays a lot more variance in its influences. I particularly like how Colombian Necktie keeps the production raw and visceral, no over compressed crap here. Check it out below if you like sludgy hardcore with just a light blackening on the edges and a pinch of noise rock.

Words by: Chris Tedor

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