For a band that flags itself as "hardcore's most inconsequential," whenwedie certainly has an unusual sound.This EP, 'Digital Angel' (the cover actually says '4 9 7 9 20 1 12.1 14 7 5 12.' which is the same thing using 1-26 as they correspond to the alphabet) blends several genre conventions into a fairly unique style of hardcore: dark, angry, punk at times, discordant, occasionally melodic.The songs are fast and fairly chaotic, though not in a techmetal sense.Influences seem to range from Get Up Kids to stoner metal.Lyrics are often distorted, like Steven Brodsky on "Until Your Heart Stops," but they change to slight melodic singing, and even crew sing-alongs here and there. "The Big Indifference Machine" starts the album off with a driving punk beat and more melodic riffing than found in most of the other songs.The music drops to sluggy discord at one point, then back up to open drum snares with simple repeated riffing; the end, when multiple singers start yelling along over a prominent bass line is particularly nice."Digital Angel," too, is a particularly melodic track, with even more harkenings to old school - even something of an old school breakdown.A circle pit would not seem an inappropriate response here."Kleine Beaujean," at only 41 seconds, is thrashy, but neither particularly discordant nor melodic.The acoustic intro to "Short Lunches" at the album's halfway point provides a nice contrast to fairly uniform music up to this point.The song's body is the best on the album, starting off with just a little bit of chugging, then jumping to a nicely haunting melodic line, and finishing off with a peppy, almost pop-punk section, where vocals rest half-way between screaming and singing."Sublimation and Shit" really highlights the drummer's technical proficiency, and the introduction of dual warped guitars playing against each other, into a crescendoing passage, marks this as another fine song.The final track, "My Personality Breeds Contempt," reminds me of some of Time in Malta's better work, optimistic and catchy.There also appears to be a hidden track, not well recorded or particularly remarkable. Bottom Line: whenwedie is certainly a skilled band - their instrumentality is good, the recording quality doesn't detract from the music, and their singer has a solid voice.Unfortunately, their style leaves them in a fairly odd place in terms of appeal.To an old school kid, 'Digital Angel' would probably be too discordant, too chaotic, and too pretty (at parts); and for the new school kid, there is no mosh whatsoever.However, what they do they do well, so if, in their words, "Today Is the Day vs. Boysetsfire at NHL '99 at three in the morning" sounds like your kind of music, you won't be disappointed. There were only 200 copies of this EP made, so we suggest emailing the band to try and get a copy. It even comes with a hockey card!
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