Do you remember when screamo bands like The Fall Of Troy and Chiodos tried to reject the “screamo” moniker by calling themselves post-hardcore? With some fairly technical guitar work and odd time signatures, those bands made a case for themselves, but ultimately ended up just being more Vans Warped Tour fodder. I only mention this because there are still bands that do this apparently, a fact that was brought to my attention by Feral, the latest release by Ontario, Canada’s Like Animals.
Chock-full of time changes and arpegiatting guitars, Like Animals are a cut above the more punked-up version of screamo like Silverstein and The Used, at least in terms of technical musicianship. Like Animals have more in common with The Fall Of Troy and Protest The Hero, the difference being that those bands actually have some balls to their music (relatively speaking). The vocals are a dead give away for this being basically a screamo band, with whiny “emotional” (read: emo) vocals, and high-pitched screams in the vein of The Used. Given the fact that it’s probably difficult to carry a tune over atonal guitars, I’ll admit Like Animals at least gave it a shot, even if the result is akin to listening to a 12 year old choir-student nervously fumble through a solo at their recital.
Musically, the guitars take on a post-hardcore, jazzy feel, but the constant arpeggios make the guitar-tone sound really thin. Even when actual chords are used, the music just isn’t very heavy, and sounds more like a hardcore band, only without the testoterone. Like Animals will probably appeal to the Hot Topic crowd (if it was 2002), but ultimately fall flat as a “metal” band in any regard. I hesitate to even call them a post-hardcore band, because that title belongs to bands like Drive Like Jehu and Fugazi; this is just screamo with a slightly more technical edge.
If you like songs about feelings and teenage angst, then this is your new favorite band. That is, until next week, when that other band that totally gets you releases an album.