Song: Forever Family Band:Screaming At Shadows Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada, North America, Planet Earth (third rock from the Sun, densest planet in the Solar System, largest of the Solar System’s four terrestrial planets – and the only astronomical object known to accommodate life. SO FAR.) Date of Release: 15/03/2015 Genre: Melodic Metalc–HAHAHAHAHAHAHA Reviewer: Welmanshire For Fans Of: Suffering, Masterchef, Normies, British Radio, Stale and/or soggy Ginger Nut biscuits, death, severing the tip of your finger in a bicycle chain, your mother abandoning you as a child, and Better Homes & Gardens back when John Jarratt didn’t threaten to murder people in real life and on film. Why They Aren’t Famous: Melodic Metalc–HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Metalcore – or as they describe themselves on their Facebook page – Melodic Deathcore (God fucking help me if that ever becomes a thing) band Screaming At Shadows, literally described themselves as ‘Melodic Metalcore’ when they submitted this utter kooky, critical playground of a song to the IPHYB inbox. I thought that to describe Screaming At Shadows, I would employ this grammatically obtuse method of characterization in an effort to connect with their four fans (namely, their mums).
“Screaming At Shadows are about as exciting as wet water!”
“Oh, man! Those breakdowns … they got me all burned up. Painfully! Like hot fire!”
“Who needs female women when you have Melodic Metalcore?!”
‘Melodic Metalcore’. What a revolution! Move over, August Burns Red. There’s a group of blokes from Canada that are about to change the face of metalcore forever. Tired of all that boring, brutal metalcore, completely devoid of melody? Same! Fuck you, Architects. I can’t stand your bland, straight-up metalcore sound. Try incorporating some fucking melody! Haha. Silly Metalcore. REEEEEEE NORMIIIIIIES!
Aside from the song being so abhorrent I’m actually barely going to talk about it, as my initial criticism of Screaming At Shadows was their name. Obviously. I’ll get to the root of the bigger problems SAS need to worry about in a moment, but let’s focus on their title first. It’s such a wildly generic name for a metalcore band, and I’m well and truly sick of this shit.
Note to metalcore bands everywhere. Fuck off with your shitty, shitty names. Please. I don’t mean to sound like a big bad writer man, but it’s so soul-crushingly distressing. With the sheer amount of submissions we get in at IPHYB HQ, it’s impossible to listen to and review every song or album. Sometimes you have to make calculated judgements based on a band name or cover art, in order to save yourself from hours of listening to music that’s not even good enough to warrant a review, let alone warrant an all-out murderous critical prose. If you have an awful name, it’s very likely I’m not going to listen to your terrible blend of melodic metalcore, or heavy death metal, or whatever fucking non-existent niche you’ve alluded yourself into believing you occupy. This is the same for people in general (I’m a people), so do yourself a favor and get a snappy name. Like, ‘Snappy Dressers’ or ‘Cucking Funts’, or something else catchy.
I think that while SAS are about as memorable as an unscented fart, it will serve them well to at least change their name. It might gain them more recognition, leading to more criticism, leading to them changing some other things, such as their entire sound, the way they play their instruments (as in actually learn how to play them), and for them to snap out of (I still think ‘Snappy Dressers’ is really catchy) the crazy shroom voyage they’ve clearly been on since 2005. It’s the only reconciliation I can make them sounding so dated and like they’re fucking 15-years old – seriously.
I was going to go easy on these guys because from the sound of the song, the production, the lyrical content – the everything, it sounded like it was composed by the clammy and hormonal fingers of an angsty mid-teen who has barely dipped the digits let alone played hide the sausage. Alas, I did a Facebook check, and they have beards. Yes, beards. You’re busted, Beardy La Roux. The jig is up! I see those tattoos, as well. That means you’re over 18. If the world deems you responsible enough to own a credit card, surely you can’t be irresponsible enough to unleash your utter tripe onto the world, further overcrowding up the bloated mediocre midsection of metalcore many modern bands often fall into.
Anyway, sorry to get off topic. To help out SAS, I’ve taken the liberty of creating a list of alternative names that they may like to consider as they move forward as a band. I feel that they may not want to stray too far from their original name, so I’ve decided to create anagrams of Screaming At Shadows. For anyone that doesn’t know (read a fucking book?) an anagram is a word or words made up of the letters of another word. These are full anagrams, by the way – and yes, unfortunately, that means that Snappy Dressers didn’t make the list:
SCREAMING AT SHADOWS
Mrs’ Togs A’ Chainsawed
A Chairman’s Dog Stews
Get Ascarids, Show Man!
Sing “Asshat”, Dream Cow
W. AIDS* Thong Ass Cream
Song: I Mashed Raw Scat
*Stands for Willy AIDS.
As you can see, I’ve also provided a grid for when we publish the review which the band can use to formulate some new names. Personally, I think the above list is pretty solid – especially ‘Sing “Asshat”, Dream Cow!’ as it conjures up some beautiful imagery which they can use as a creative marker for their new sound. Much like how Northlane incorporate mathematics and science ideology into their music, ‘Sing “Asshat”, Dream Cow (shortened to SADC from here on) could use the below logo as inspiration to get the creative juices flowing.
Okay, so to the actual song. It begins with a nondescript sample; either a car passing, or, most likely just white noise from when they were recording the vocals (probably that). BAM! In comes a clean riff, and that, despite having the dullest tone I’ve heard in a long time, is accentuated by the fakest drums I have ever heard. Fuck. So fake. I’m not going to talk about it because it’s woeful even by fake programmed drum standards. Upon doing some research, I discovered that the programmed drums that featured in this song later gave up making music altogether and died a lonely, angry alcoholic. Tragic. This was probably due to him being late to accentuate the riff, like a fat, sweaty guy running after a bus.
Next up, they predictably swing into a standard v.1.0 metalcore riff. It’s a combination of great early 2000’s metalcore played absolutely horrifyingly. It’s as if Avenged Sevenfold and Atreyu, circa. their debut albums, got into a wild brawl and brutally snapped each others fingers, rendering them technically useless and with only a sad memory of a metalcore riff that translates into the artistic equivalent of dry Weet Bix.
Finally, we get a little respite in the form of the chorus. While the lyrics are utter shite, the clean vocals are actually quite pleasant. I breathed a sigh of relief when I heard poor-man’s Kellin Quinn pop his poppy stylings in – I thought that at least Sing Asshat, Dream Cow have a saving grace in the form of a decent vocalist. Oh–hang on. Wait just one second. What’s this:
Cool. Fuck him, anyway – he hits a bung note like clockwork at the end of each chorus, almost just to still his dubious talent down to the level of non-singy beard man and the rest of his merry crew.
Ugh. The song ends embarrassingly as the final chorus changes up with a disjointed strumming pattern, where the drums have their real time to … well, not shine … brown. The drums really brown it up by closing it out with an off-time “dun-dun-cssh!” presumably to give a nod to the fact that this song is in fact a hilarious fucking joke, and SAS are seriously having us on. Canadians are funny.
Utterly and aggressively abysmal. Seriously guys, take a break. Study up, play hard, write better – just be better. Don’t be shit.
Cleans Not the singer; irrelevant/10 Guitars: 0.5/10 Bass: 1/10 Drums: Possibly the worst I’ve heard in my life/10 Production: Minus fucking four billion/10 Lyrics: 1/10 Songwriting: 0/10 Overall IPHYB Rating: 0.1/10 Personal Enjoyment: It went for four minutes. FOUR MINUTES. FUCK. OFF/10