SeeYouSpaceCowboy - The Romance of Affliction Music Album Reviews

SeeYouSpaceCowboy - The Romance of Affliction Music Album Reviews
Borrowing the clean hooks of metalcore and scene-chewing flourishes of MySpace emo, the San Diego band’s second album takes an unflinchingly honest look at impending doom.

Note: This review discusses addiction and self-harm.

Connie Sgarbossa spent the past two years wrestling with addiction, depression, OCD, bipolar disorder, and the question of whether making SeeYouSpaceCowboy’s second proper album would offer any kind of relief. Two weeks after the band finished recording The Romance of Affliction, Sgarbossa’s girlfriend found her unconscious on the couch, the result of a Xanax overdose meant to end her life. By recent accounts, things have improved—SeeYouSpaceCowboy are back on the road and Sgarbossa has given herself grace as she pursues recovery. What hasn’t changed is her conviction in the unflinching and often unflattering honesty of The Romance of Affliction: SeeYouSpaceCowboy are living proof that cathartic self-expression shouldn’t be expected to perform miracle cures.

Sgarbossa’s lyrical fatalism complicates and enriches an album that would otherwise be considered a full triumph. Imagine Converge guzzling Sparks Ultra and steel shavings, and that’s 2019’s deviously catchy The Correlation Between Entrance and Exit Wounds, which announced SYSC as heirs apparent to sasscore 2.0: After all, this mutant form of dance-punk was created in their homebase of San Diego, as the city’s white-belt screamo and “Spock Rock” post-hardcore scenes commingled with far-left politics, highbrow literary pretense, and gratuitous handclaps. The Correlation had a lot going for it, and The Romance of Affliction does these things more so: The vocals skew harder towards both deathcore and Warped Tour, the production is sharper, and the songs are longer and more unconventionally structured, expanding to accommodate upstart noise rappers and metalcore icons.

The guest list is impressive, and the mere appearance of members of Every Time I Die and Underoath signifies The Romance of Affliction’s status. But both Keith Buckley and Aaron Gillespie accommodate themselves to SeeYouSpaceCowboy, not vice versa—each a recognizable voice, yet one among many in Sgarbossa’s frenetic racket. The closing title track expands on SeeYouSpaceCowboy’s fruitful collaboration with heavily face-tattooed Epitaph act If I Die First, while the Shaolin G feature “Sharpen What You Can” proves that panic chords and double-kick drums are fundamentals for a new generation of emo rappers.

If the individual influences are familiar, their coherence within a singular sound is modern—and like most exciting music in the vanguard of populist and extreme metal, SeeYouSpaceCowboy’s accessibility and ambition are inversely proportional to their desire to appear “tasteful.” Opener “Life as a Soap Opera Plot, 26 Years Running” shifts gears about five times before the band lets out an a cappella “woo!” “Misinterpreting Constellations” grinds to a halt for a handclap breakdown. This isn’t a fun record by any means, but SeeYouSpaceCowboy are freakishly adept at using the most immediately gratifying parts of oft-maligned influences, drawing on metalcore’s clean, septum-piercing hooks and the scene-chewing flourishes of MySpace emo. On past releases, melodies felt like brief interruptions from Sgarbossa’s guttural howls; here, “Misinterpreting Constellations” and “Melodrama Between Two Entirely Bored Individuals” evoke a more believably vampiric AFI or the Blood Brothers retconning themselves as a festival act.

The Romance of Affliction isn’t a crossover album—playing it in a social setting would still be taken as an act of antagonism by people who’ve never listened to metalcore. Even putting aside the confrontational production values, SeeYouSpaceCowboy demand a reconsideration of the reflexive tendency to stereotype this type of music as an expression of overblown, adolescent suburban pain. It’s not that they lack a sense of humor—this is a band with a song called “Stop Calling Us Screamo.” But there’s also the self-awareness that often accompanies a prolonged struggle with mental illness. Sgarbossa never glamorizes nor sanitizes her pain, even when it’s rendered with theatrical flair. “It’s not enough to stay warm/I want to burn in the flames,” she screams, capturing the impulsivity and nihilism of active addiction, where no emotion can ever be considered overdramatized. SeeYouSpaceCowboy initially imagined The Romance of Affliction as an uplifting sequel to The Correlation Between Entrance and Exit Wounds until life intervened; the album owes its success to their inability to fake a happy ending.
Share on Google Plus

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.
SeeYouSpaceCowboy - The Romance of Affliction Music Album Reviews SeeYouSpaceCowboy - The Romance of Affliction Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on December 13, 2021 Rating: 5


Post a Comment