Ice Nine Kills

The Burning EP

Written by: PP on 26/01/2008 20:22:16

Will Ice Nine Kills be the sensation of 2008 who will skyrocket into hundreds of thousands of album sales? My opinion, based on their new EP \"The Burning\", is almost certainly. It gives a similar vibe of freshness that bands like Panic! At The Disco and Fall Out Boy did on their early releases, and this in a genre that\'s possibly the most over saturated in the world: emo/screamo. The promotional stats say it all, over one and a half million Myspace plays, #1 downloaded band in Purevolume.com in the US, and #2 selling CD on Smartpunk.com. Lets not forget that the fans on these sites tend to be in the first wave, recognizing the up and coming acts about a year before the mainstream media discovers and shoots them into worldwide super stardom. These numbers don\'t lie.

Musically, it\'d be far too easy to label Ice Nine Kills just emo/screamo and leave it there. While the band definitely belongs into that hybrid genre, there\'s so much more to their music than that. Take the EP opener, for instance, \"The Greatest Story Ever Told\" that begins with blinding guitars a la The Fall Of Troy, breaks down into a Panic! At The Disco style theatric interlude before the breakdown introduces thick, solid screaming. And this isn\'t just screaming for the sake of screaming, it\'s well placed and throws the song in your face just at the right time to make you go: \"wow, these guys have really nailed songwriting down to perfection\". The next moment you\'ll get another tempo switch and some sugar-sweet guitars doing scales on the background over pop-punk style harmonious clean vocals, before you\'ll get to one of the catchiest choruses you\'ll have heard all year. Bring in another hardcore breakdown, and I don\'t know about you guys, but I\'m completely sold.

The band keeps it up thereafter on \"In The Throws Of A Moral Quandary\", constantly varying pace, injecting perfectly placed screamo breakdowns and singalongable choruses in a way that makes me think of the way Saosin\'s seminal \"Translating The Name EP\" made me feel a few years back. There are dual-vocals, back up vocals, high-range screams, mid-range croons, deep growl-like screams, and pretty much everything in between. Throw in some pretty superb drumming to support the complex guitar licks and you\'ve got your second masterpiece out of two. Can they keep it up for more?

The answer: Yes they can. \"Dead Is The New Black\" puts the entire emo/screamo scene in its place by being, like the two other songs on the EP, the best song written in the past twelve months in the genre. \"You Scratched My Anchor\" throws in another incredible chorus: \"So here\'s a lesson in deception, don\'t act like you don\'t know, how to build your own disaster, out of something beautiful\" - they\'ll make sense if you read the rest of the lyrics to the song.

Speaking of which, the lyrics are another solid-as-fuck strength of this album. They aren\'t your typical \"cut my wrists and black my eyes\" lines that you\'d get from bands like Hawthorne Heights or Silverstein. They might be introspective, but they are written in a way that leaves you pondering over the true meaning of each line. Just read the following and stand in inspiration: \"\'Cause it\'s a constant tragedy connecting you and I\", taken from the chorus to \"Build Your Own Disaster\", another masterpiece of a screamo track combining so many different elements into one track that one review doesn\'t do it enough justice. Just the contrast between the theatrical elements and the brutal screaming sessions is something you\'ll not have heard before. Hell, even the acoustic track \"What I Should Have Learned In Study Hall\" works great on the EP as opposed to my common belief about acoustic tracks.

Really, there\'s nothing else that needs to be said about \"The Burning EP\". You\'ll listen to it and have countless moments where you\'ll be ready to say \"but they sound just like ABC\", before they shove you off your balance and throw in influence from another band.. and another band.. and another band.. until the only thing you can say is \"wow, these guys have a sound that\'s incredibly original while being utterly familiar at the same time\". In its essence, it has the same effect as Saosin did back in 2003, making the emo/screamo genre relevant once again with a sound as original as if the genre was only invented in 2007. Don\'t miss this.

9

Download: In The Throws Of A Moral Quandary, The Greatest Story Ever Told, You Scratched My Anchor
For the fans of: Escape The Fate, Chiodos, Saosin, Panic! At The Disco, The Used, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Listen: Myspace
Buy: iTunes

Release date 20.11.2007
Red Blue Records

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