Posted by: Necci – Jun 06, 2012
Music reviewer confession time. I wrote out a fairly long review of Bloody Gears' new EP, tying them to the aesthetic of bands like the Wipers and linking it further to some larger aesthetic of morose melodic punk bands from the Pacific Northwest, using an EP title like Frozen Rain in conjunction with the region's weather patterns to support my conceptions of Cascadian despresso-punk. Except that Bloody Gears are from Boston. So it's all out the goddamn window and I'm forced to come to terms with the axiom that to assume makes and ass out of [yo]u and me, though I would be a terrible reviewer to immediately implicate readers in this misunderstanding (however, I daresay others could easily make the same mistake).
Having gotten that off my chest, I don't want to sound like I consider Bloody Gears a Wipers rip-off (I hate to harp on the comparison – sorry). There are some strong similarities, but there's a general sense that they're working from the same sort of propulsive despair utilized by their apparent precursors, building from a sense that we're all fucked, that we're all those selfsame gears in an unfeeling apparatus, and that even outside the scope of these artificial and dehumanizing machinations we're all subject to an unfeeling and uncaring universe. The choice between the bloody gears and the frozen rain might not seem as cut and dried as those who would pit industrialization against nature would make it seem.
And this may sound terrible, a depressing reminder that the cast-offs of post-industrial Western Civilization might never find a comforting home outside the grave, but it manages to pull off being a beautifully orchestrated evocation of feeling fucked, of coming to terms with not having many options in life but of perservering anyways. Despite the EP's three songs bearing titles like “Frozen Rain,” “Bite the Hand,” and “Tragic Mistake,” there is a propulsive drive to the music that balances the more morose elements. It's possessed of a liveliness that acts as a reminder that suffering is the cost of living, and that those capable of grabbing life's reins and pulling hard can find in despair the means to transcend it.
Anybody who would take umbrage with this record because it sounds somewhat familiar doesn't get the point. In the fine rock and roll tradition of re-positioning influences, of turning the familiar and comforting into the bleakly relevant, Bloody Gears have made something bracing, a short blast of grim tenacity in the face of everything that can go wrong in this world. They pull it off so successfully that it doesn't matter where they're from or what they were trying to sound like, only that they did it, and they did it so convincingly.
By Graham Scala