Review: Employed To Serve – Greyer Than You Remember

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Back in the early 2000’s, chaotic hardcore was dominated by bands like Botch, The Chariot, Coalesce, and The Dillinger Escape Plan. It seems to have fizzled out over the years with newer bands failing to make as much of an impact as those that forged it’s identity. The debut album from the UK’s Employed To Serve harkens back to the early ‘aughts and delivers an adrenaline shot to chaotic hardcore. Greyer Than You Remember should be in consideration for one of the heaviest records of the year.

Employed To Serve relies heavily on the noisy chord phrasings used by Botch and abused by Norma Jean on their first couple of albums. But this is a healthy abuse as they demonstrate the ability to work them into each song on Greyer Than You Remember without it sounding repetitive or bland. They are heavy on the breakdowns but the structure of their songs have meaning and purpose. Parts seldom repeat but Employed To Serve aren’t tossing a jigsaw puzzle at you and saying “here, you figure this out”, every change transitions from one part to the next without coming across as a distraction. There’s not a moment where any riff or part seems out of place. It’s all by design as you can feel the energy and emotion they play with. The drummer is beating the ever loving shit out his drum kit while the guitars spew vast amounts of noisy dissonance at every turn. The low end bass rounds out the attack to further amplify those moments when things go delightfully awry. The recording sounds as if it were a straight out of Kurt Ballou’s God City Studios with drums punching hard upfront along with a warm organic guitar tone that breathes freely throughout the mix. Everything sounds huge. These elements all work together on “Watching Films To Forget I Exist” as they storm through the track using an up tempo styling reminiscent of Coalesce before closing out the song by foreshadowing an excellent sludgy breakdown with some clever use of a noisy ringing guitar interlude. The entire record is loaded with great moments like this.

If you’re a fan of the vocal stylings of Agoraphobic Nosebleed’s Kat Katz then you’ll appreciate the screaming of Justine Jones. If the music isn’t already enough to captivate you, the vocal performance on this album takes things to another level. You can hear the intensity in Ms. Jones’ voice as she screams and shrieks throughout the entire record. She really puts some of her male counter parts to shame with the passion and energy that she brings to the table. On “Bones To Break”, Employed To Serve venture into post hardcore territory, making use of some melodic elements. But if you are waiting for some clean singing to accompany this, you’re not going to get it. Instead you get more heartfelt shouting along with some gruff hardcore backing vocals to compliment the highs. The tension builds midway through the song as it reaches it’s climax and ends with a powerful soaring melodic display that sends everything crashing down.

Another standout track is “No One’s Perfect, This Includes You” which starts off with a noisy Botch inspired riff backed by the choppy drumming that defines The Dillinger Escape Plan’s faster material. The riff resurfaces later in the track to give it the breakdown treatment which is guaranteed to take hold of you and almost have you start your own personal mosh pit wherever you happen to be. Finishing things off is the closer “As Cold As Rest” which begins with some spoken word over some clean guitar before finally giving way to an avalanche of pummeling sludge as Employed To Serve put the finishing touches on this aural assault. Instead of going out pleasantly, they go out violently just like the rest of the record. A fitting end to an album that starts out on the same note.

 

 

Verdict: Greyer Than You Remember is a throwback to the chaotic hardcore of the early 2000’s in the here and now. This album is ten rounds of hand to hand combat in which you get knocked out every round. The attack delivered on Greyer Than You Remember will leave you hemorrhaging and in dire need of a blood transfusion that is only supplied when you hit replay.

No-Flush

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  • The W.

    The guitarist of Oblivionized’s other band.

    • JamesGrimm

      A MODERN PROMETHEAUS!!!!

  • Holy arepas! This is groovy! The vocals kills it and the mid tempo sudden breakdowns set moods.

    Good stuff. Good review, Rony.

    • Thanks Link, I listened to this forty times in a row, not exaggerating about that either.

  • Tyree

    Kat Katz is adorable. Just pointing that Out.

    http://wallpaper.metalship.org/images/salome1.jpg

    Check out her doom band Salome. Her vocal range is incredible! She can go from really low to incredibly high pitched. No wonder ANB picked her up. I’m still good with my choice at MDF though. Tsjuder takes higher priority. I felt much better about the decision after I heard that ANB didn’t have a live drummer.

    This song is fucking intense.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66UVn-weNtg

    • Google Image search for “Kat Katz” comes back with this:

    • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

      Salome>>>>>>>

    • Howard Dean

      I bought the Salome album Terminal from Profound Lore last year (bought it blindly on a whim because the CD was only like 5 bucks). I remember it as some solid, heavy hitting sludge. I need to revisit it.

      • Tyree

        Same. Indeed it’s a really solid album.

      • I’m still waiting for my Crucified Frozengoatshead physical copy to arrive from Stomachache Records. Anyone know a distro who will ship the remaster of Dissectified’s debut LP to the U.S.? Preferably vinyl, but cassette will do just fine.

        • Howard Dean

          I think you can get the 8-track of Dissectified’s debut from the
          ShitAssFuck distro out of Laos. Shipping costs suck and wait time is
          over 7 months, but it (usually) shows up. I always preferred
          Dissectified’s demos to their debut, though; with the debut, they
          pressed 66 copies on vinyl–total commercial whores.

          Crucified Frozengoatshead is ok. But I prefer Impaled Witchgeist
          Kommando–the Spanish Inquisition-themed National Socialist ambient
          side project of Crucified Frozengoatsheads vocalist, Lord Fistfucker Xyprus

    • I’m In Love With Tha DooDoo

      And gotta love that None So Vile bass drum.

      • Tyree

        It’s crazy. I don’t think it is, but it’s very close.

    • more beer

      That Is for dam sure. No pointing that out required. Go to that Primitive Man show. They were the best I’ve seen them the other night. It was in a very small DIY space and they were so fucking good.

      • Kevin Nash & Friends

        Question: Are Schlitz and Strohs sold anywhere in NY? I want to get some when I turn 21 in April but I don’t know if they’re even sold here. If not what is a good substitute for those cheap beers?

        • more beer

          They were when I lived there. Remember you only turn 21 once. Those are really cheap beers. I would look for Yuengling or Genesee the blue cans. I would drink Budweiser before the 2 you named. It’s your birthday splurge and drink something really good is my best advice.

          • DOYOURLYBEARD, THO?

            More beer always with the good advice

          • more beer

            Hahaha! With age comes wisdom. Those beers you posted yesterday looked very tasty.

          • DOYOURLYBEARD, THO?

            I bought two more 😉

          • more beer

            That’s what I do when I find a beer I like. I buy more beer.

          • I’m In Love With Tha DooDoo

            And there’s always Cisco, Night Train, and Thunderbird!

          • more beer

            He will be on the liver transplant list. The day after his 21st birthday.

          • I’m In Love With Tha DooDoo

            No, but he might make some new friends over near the train tracks on the rough side of town.

          • more beer

            There are some pretty bad areas in the town he lives in. I used to go up there once in a while for shows.

          • KJM

            MD 20/20!!

          • I’m In Love With Tha DooDoo

            Bacardi 151!

          • KJM

            Just drink rubbing alcohol really.

          • more beer

            There isn’t a single grape used in that garbage. I would rather drink anti freeze.

          • KJM

            That’s how I got drunk on weekends when I was a teenager, only $2.25. It may have something to do with why I don’t drink anymore.

          • more beer

            I’d put money on that’s the reason. I drank a lot of cheap beer when I was kid but mostly stayed away from the crappy wines. Even now it’s very rare for me to drink wine.

        • I’m In Love With Tha DooDoo

          They sell Schlitz around here (VA), so I’d imagine that they sell it in NY too. If not, go for Yuengling.

  • Oh yes. Oh yes oh yes oh yes. This will perfectly alongside The Armed’s new record.

    • I told Ronny today that I liked The Armed last record. You’re right, this can be a good companion to that one.

  • I’m In Love With Tha DooDoo
    • This has to be 10 years old now.

      • I’m In Love With Tha DooDoo

        I just found out about it yesterday. Is it me or he incapable of holding cereal or milk in his mouth in that last pic?

  • CyberneticOrganism

    Videos always get awkward when they have to cut over to the other band member handling the different vocal style. Cool stuff though.

  • Stockhausen

    I’m really digging this. They cover a nice range of moods.

  • CT-12

    Man dude, I wasn’t sure what to expect here, but I ended up actually really digging this. Thanks for sharing Deuce!

    • Glad you like them, they really grabbed me the second I heard them. They capture that era and style really well.

  • DOYOURLYBEARD, THO?

    Blackbeard approved

  • EsusMoose

    I like dis, Ima bury it

  • can we please unban Randall? i miss that cheeky bastahd.

    • Le Tapir The Based

      Is he really banned?

      • yup. 🙁

        • Le Tapir The Based

          Why? 🙁

          • The W.

            He’s not.

          • Le Tapir The Based

            McNulty has diddled me again!

          • KJM

            STRANGER DANGER!!

        • The W.

          No he isn’t, you dork.

          • KJM

            I hope not.

          • The W.

            He isn’t. I have no idea why McNulty is saying this.

          • KJM

            Cos McNulty’s being a big old jerkface? Just a thought.

          • I guess it’s only funny when others joke about it :/

          • The W.

            Saying he’s banned and jokingly clamoring to ban him are two different things.

          • Sorry bae.

          • KJM

            #BanWandMcNulty

          • I got rid of my Ban Wand a long time ago…

          • Everyone used to joke about banning him. I joined in! (i really do miss him tho)

      • No, he’s just in a spiritual retire to gain more levels.

  • DCLXVI

    I don’t like this. only 10 minutes left till Toilet Tuesday