We'll Go Machete

Strong Drunk Hands

Written by: PP on 19/12/2011 02:16:01

There was a time when playing post-hardcore didn't mean you were wearing tight jeans, more eyeliner than your regular teenage chick at her high school prom, and had a vocalist you could easily mistake for a girl not just for appearance but also for pitch. That time was mid to late 90s, when post-hardcore was originally conceived by bands like Quicksand, Drive Like Jehu, Fugazi, etc. Back when melody wasn't the primary focal point of the songs, rather than a distinct vibe of post-punk apathy meeting explosive execution and raw honesty before trends infiltrated the music scene at large. Needless to say, without melody the genre was never going anywhere other than the cult-status original post-hardcore enjoys in 2011, so bands who choose and indeed succeed in the style are few and far between these days.

We'll Go Machete, from Austin, Texas, are one band that do avoid the trap of sounding dated reasonably well on their debut album "Strong Drunk Hands". Those of you who are familiar with the original post-hardcore bands will immediately notice that they are virtually worshipping Drive Like Jehu, Fugazi and Quicksand, with the occasional parallel drawn to At The Drive-In, so originality is pretty much thrown out the window here. But given how none of those bands exist anymore, and their modern incarnations have gone quiet as of late (These Arms Are Snakes, where are you?), we'll survive, especially because songs like "Number 13" and "Sad Sack" are pretty much examples of the genre as it very best - at least in the form that it comes in the modern era anyway.

"Strong Drunk Hands" is a noisy album, and one that'll scare away anyone looking for singalongs or melodic guitar work. It thrives on quirky angular guitar work, and un-hip, shouted vocals, that together create something I'm going to call intriguing anti-melody for the lack of a better expression. It's not necessarily heavy - though it can be reasonably so on some occasions - it's more unpolished, raw, and disinterested in catchy song structures than expressing an honest emotion and their post-punk influences. It also means it's an artistic album. Unfortunately, we all know what happens with artistic albums unless your band name happens to be Muse, so We'll Go Machete will have little chance to make it in today's musical spectrum, regardless of their convincing impersonation of 90s legends throughout the disc.


Download: Number 13, Sad Sack, Hayward
For the fans of: Drive Like Jehu, These Arms Are Snakes, Fugazi, Quicksand, At The Drive-In, The Jesus Lizard
Listen: Bandcamp

Release date 18.08.2011
Cedar Fever Records

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