(Throatruiner Records, 2011)
From time to time I’m still receiving the good ol’ 90s vibe of crossover music in the era of modernism. What happens when you mix the ingredients of grind, screamo and jazz? Few people would know the answer, but yet it feels like: “It’s gotta be real bad or supacoolish!” The Phantom Carriage from France had the guts and courage to freshen up the industry with rasping guitar riffs, black metal gargoyle screams and then giving us away to the hands of pumping screamo/punk rhythms.
Backing up all’s been said with the album title New Thing French “new wavers” of Throatruiner Records bring you through the seven-piece disk in a very unusual way. From the first song, The Horses Feed Their Birds, when the blastbeat kicks in connected to a sing-along punk-like part, it is interesting how the guys play with structures without a care what’s going to happen. Of course, inhaling does not last long. With every track, variations of genres change the picture. The Wreck of My Mental Ships runs into post-hardcore sound as well – at least for me – pleasing my ears with dense heaviness and vocals, and then a math part comes along. Moving forward until the third track it’s a pace that a few listeners are barely able to keep up with in terms of elements extruding then intruding. The sense of having every track sliced up like bread may get a real confused comprehension, still it’s carried out really well, giving credit and compensation for the long songs. Black Rain Falls in Drops‘ jazzy takes bring the disk to another level, especially the ending part, which reminds me of another great French band, 37500 Yens. Les Fantômes Se Cachent Pour Pleurer with a beautiful accordion asks you to dance on a sad carnival. The previous 2 tracks are there to calm down and the last two, Our Roses and 16-04-10 tend to bring you down, in a good sense, of course – the ride occurs again. Have you had fun? I have.
The outcome is great even though there are several times when you have to give it a rest then getting on it again. The black metal / jazz / screamo definition is less then they have in their pockets. Almost anything that is heavy and hardcore is built into, from post-hardcore to heavy metal, so lucky listeners will have a lot to brainstorm about what the style really is.
However, The Phantom Carriage’s New Thing is a warning sign to make conventions disappear in this fragile world of genre orientation: You either love it or you leave it!