Stay Inside - Viewing Music Album Reviews

The Brooklyn band's debut is one of the most confidently executed emo debuts of recent vintage, a bracing fusion of brutality and elegance. 

Let’s just get this out of the way: Stay Inside would have been just as timely of a band name at any point in the Brooklyn group’s short existence. On their bracing debut Viewing, bassist/vocalist Bryn Niboer reckons with what she calls “the worst thing that happened to me in my life,” framing her personal trauma within the generational traumas of the last four years. Viewing is the work of a band formed amidst ongoing biological and political disasters, and the songs explore end-times questions: What is the purpose of creation in a state of perpetual impermanence? What is the meaning of forgiveness and hope when the arc of the moral universe is irreversibly off course?

Stay Inside’s music shares the physique of Travis Bickle or Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker, if not their regressive nihilism—they sound gaunt and wiry, the songs’ shredded musculature meant to frighten more than impress, developed in isolation as a defense mechanism to New York’s daily interpersonal cruelties. Viewing moves at a dyspeptic churn, its melodies alternately soaring and sour, their imagery borne of a lonesome, crowded Brooklyn, full of corrosives and irritants. Stay Inside earmark their arrangements with reminders of abject and vivid squalor that pop up like roaches—a recurring burst of feedback used to segue between tracks, the burrowing one-note riff of “Revisionist,” the chords of “Veil” slowly denaturing into atonality.

“The picture’s weak/Everything’s a copy that I’m copying,” guitarist and vocalist Chris Jones sings on the opening “Revisionist,” in Viewing’s predominant pose: a snarl and a shrug. Having gotten a bombastically titled EP out of their system (2018’s The Sea Engulfs Us and the Light Goes Out), Stay Inside here commit to clarity, reducing the past two decades of emo and post-hardcore’s most serious variants into its most potent concentrate, stripped of pretensions. Each track hones its essence into urgent, mononym titles, with nothing in the arrangements to detract from their focused messages. A visit to the spacious, twinkling skies of Midwestern emo is pointedly called “Divide,” Viewing’s sole and fleeting beacon of light before Side B plunges towards the abyss. At their most anthemic (“Ivy,” “Monument”), Stay Inside fuse screamo brutality with post-punk elegance, suggesting an alternate history where Interpol recorded Turn on the Bright Lights with the guy from seminal screamo band Saetia still on drums.

Viewing is one of the most confidently executed emo debuts of recent vintage, and it’s poignant to wonder what the live show would be like. Emo albums are usually made with sweaty, crowded, all-ages shout-alongs in mind, the kind of experience quarantine has rendered impossible. But unlike, say, Dogleg’s transcendent Melee, Viewing doesn’t feel designed as group therapy meant to foster togetherness. True to the name, Stay Inside finds purpose and nobility in doing push ups in a stuffy apartment, sublimating anger into action, working through shit in isolation before rejoining society—an aim that will make it just as relevant when the next disaster strikes.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Stay Inside - Viewing Music Album Reviews Stay Inside - Viewing Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on April 27, 2020 Rating: 5


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