We, The Undersigned

Bleed The Constants

Written by: AP on 10/02/2010 22:39:45

Right, a month of exams and vacationing in Egypt are behind me at last; time to start dropping reviews at last. Some of these are long overdue, but alas, we are slaves to circumstance. First on trial are Canadian We, The Undersigned – and judging from the cover art, and the fact that Canada is home almost exclusively to excellent bands, we were quite keen to dismantle the packaging and give this one a spin. Technical, Southern-tinged metalcore from Canada – usually such a description alone is enough to wet my pants; but let’s take a closer look.

“Bleed the Constants” sounds like a seed fallen from three intertwined trees of the Protest The Hero, Callahan and Every Time I Die species. Unfortunately the apple does not fall far from the tree as we know, and We, The Undersigned are essentially a less bombastic, less complicated, and consequently less flavorsome fruit than one might expect from such a threesome of influences. The album is ripe with melody, grooves and abrupt tempo shifts, but ultimately lacks the edge to make it memorable – which is a shame, because there is enough talent here to warrant far more flattering remarks. It’s just that the band members use their obvious skill to more or less reproduce the gimmicks of bands foregone, rather than to carve out their own little hole and take their place in the success story that Canadian music tends to be.

It’s not frustrating to listen to, but could certainly use more frills to entertain the listener. Music like this needs to be challenging to be rewarding, but “Bleed the Constants” surprisingly comes across as rather tame and mundane, its only buoyant feature being its success at finding a fine balance between inanity and insanity. The result is above all a good-natured party album, neither too rowdy nor too drunken to obscure the technical command this New Brunswick four-piece has. It’s bouncy and entertaining without sacrificing on integrity – Tyler Feeney’s hoedown vocals and nerdy lyricism in songs like “IDDQD” are damn near irresistible and the filthy guitar tone should be straight ear candy for anyone of a Southern disposition.

Still, good intentions and good musicianship do not always equal accomplishment as a band. The ideas need to be novel enough to turn some heads and, in the case of technical music, absurd enough to make people think, ask questions and listen to the songs on repeat. We, The Undersigned seem too content with rebooting the concepts of other bands while forgetting to form their own vision and thus build an identity. It might sound pompous to pass such blunt judgment on a band as talented as this, but given the saturation that reigns over almost every genre these days, criticism like this should be taken to heart so that future releases will create a name for this band – because they deserve it.

6

Download: IDDQD, Bleed the Constants, Samadhi
For the fans of: Callahan, Every Time I Die, Protest The Hero
Listen: Myspace

Release date 13.10.2009
Diminished Fifth Records

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