Rating:
7.5
War From A Harlots Mouth - Transmetropolitan
18 September 2007


01. How To Disconnect From Your Social Surrounding In Half An Hour
02. Heeey... Let's Start A Band!
03. The District Attorneys Are Selling Your Blood
04. Trife Life
05. Fighting Wars With Keyboards
06. Mulder
07. Thousand Complaints, One Answer
08. If You Want To Blame Us For Something Wrong, Please Abuse This Song!
09. Riding Deadhorses Is A Fucking Curse
10. Transmetropolitan
11. And In The Right To Make Mistakes, We May Lose Everything And Start Again...


There are two approaches when you receive the debut album of such a band as War From A Harlots Mouth. Considering the hype that has been going on around these guys on the Net and the fact that they play technical jazzy metalcore/grind, or mathcore, a genre that has become trendy over the past few years thanks to the commercial success of The Dillinger Escape Plan and co, it would be easy to base an opinion on the background only and hate them before listening to the music. The second approach is to leave all these considerations behind, forget about the number of people who mindlessly praise the band just because they're successful on Myspace and focus on the music only. That is the approach I choose because in the end, only the music matters, right?

And the music of WFAHM is impressive. They manage to mix so many influences and genres that they eventually come up with something that is quite personal. It may sound totally chaotic at first, but once you start to listen closely and to untangle all the strings almost everything falls into place. As far as the musicianship is concerned, this album is a killer (listen to those drums!) and the band master perfectly all the genres they're touching (be it grind, hardcore, jazz, death metal and all). The vocals are particularly impressive: the singer is easy with growls and shrieks and hardcore-ish shouted vocals as well as with piggy squeals (à la Prostitute Disfigurement). This album is teeming with great and sometimes original ideas such as this trip-hop interlude that gets very close to old Massive Attack ("Trife Life") or this machine gun sample that is taken up by the band in order to create a killer mosh part ("If You Want To Blame Us For Something Wrong, Please Abuse This Song!" - yes, several tracks have Red Sparowes-long titles…).

And here is the main shortcoming of this album: it is teeming with too many ideas. The band touches on a lot of things but never really digs any of them. Nothing is really worked upon so you often have about 20 different parts in a 3-minute song and you're left to think that you would have taken a bit more of this amazing melodic riff. But this riff lasted less than 10 seconds and never got back again. In the end you cannot really pick up any standout track (well, you can pick one, we'll come back on that further on) as the whole album sometimes seems like a gigantic show-off fest into which the band threw everything they had on their minds without really thinking about progression and songwriting. This is all very frustrating, because the one song that actually sounds like the band took the time to really think it through ("Mulder", which is also the longest track here) shows that WFAHM has a very strong personality and also a very wide span of progression.

All in all, this is a very good, technical and complex debut album that would simply need to be a bit more focused. For the moment, War From A Harlot's Mouth remind me of a puppy that cannot keep his mind on anything for more than a few seconds. But give them a few years, and they'll grow to become a monster attack dog.

Highlights: Trife Life, Mulder, If You Want To Blame Us For Something Wrong, Please Abuse This Song!

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Production: 10


Band profile: War From A Harlots Mouth
Album: Transmetropolitan


 


written by Collin | 04.09.2007



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Dane Train - 05.09.2007 at 02:47  
I'll have to check this album out, sounds interesting.
Marcel Hubregtse - 05.09.2007 at 16:21  
Strange... maybe I should check them out and give them another chance, becuase when I saw them live they were totally crap, generic, uninspired, run-of-the-mill metalcore etc.
Collin - 05.09.2007 at 16:43  
Yeah I remember you said that, which was a surprise to me considering you like TDEP and all. You should definitely check this out

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