Texas Is The Reason
The Promise Ring Split 7" (Jade Tree)
The Texas side is like swimming in choppy seas - for every rough wave, there's a blissful trough and moment of peace and beauty before the next one hits. As these notes climb higher and higher, soaring between the words and grinding, crushing riffs, they transcend the limits of music and express something divine - exactly what that may be, I don't know. The Promise Ring side is much more cathartic and emo, but both sides complement each other quite nicely.
"Do You Know Who You Are?" CD (Revelation)
The first time I heard this CD, I was riding in a friend's car. As the soft opening notes of "Nickel Wound" came on, we came over the crest of the hill and were momentarily blinded by the afternoon sun, and I can't think of a better way to describe this album. It's searing, containing burning notes and lyrics which scrape away at the mind with all the delicacy of a paring knife. It's bitter, hurt and guardedly optimistic. It speaks to people on fundamental levels, calling them as they're sitting on the bed, wondering why their partner left, driving down the road, leaving a town for the last time, refusing to look back at their memories so they don't turn into a pillar of salt. It's like an embrace from a mysterious stranger who understands, empathizes and comforts you as long as you need it, then slips away into the darkness once again.