Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A City Sorrow Built - 2015 - Ai

A City Sorrow Built is a three piece skramz band from Ubud, Republic of Indonesia. Ai is their debut LP. A City Sorrow Built play a chaotic brand of screamo with an infusion of post-rock. At first these rather disparate genres are slammed together with no subtlety, just transition from noisy skramz into calm, beautiful post-rock. By the time the LP ends these two disparate styles have found a way to coexist, the sum becomes greater than the two parts. When added properly and done well some elements of post-rock can give these post-hardcore songs space to breathe.

What would otherwise be a fast, chaotic attack gets slowed just a touch and melody is allowed to emerge from the noise.  Songs like Duka/CitaPelangimu still hit as hard, powered by a slow burn instead of an explosion. Where the post-rock elements really fail and stick out like a sore thumb is in the slow, overly beautiful and melodic intro and interlude.

Compare the transitions between the first three tracks to the suite of epic screamo towards the end of this LP. Dua Puluh is calm, beautiful post-rock with voices emerging out of the mist, Hati/Salju slams into a post-hardcore explosion and an early highlight before giving way to Suaramu and more beatific, melodic post-rock. On tracks four through seven, Datang/Pergi-Hitam/Putih-Pelangimu and Duka/Cita, A City Sorrow Built focus on combing the post-rock and the screamo elements of their sound and they find the happy medium between the two creating some of the best post-rock inflected screamo I've heard in awhile. If you're looking for a band that can pull of both screamo and post-rock while remembering the essential elements from both, A City Sorrow Built's Ai will serve well.