Solomon Solomon is an emo / screamo band from Annandale, VA which features John Crogan, Josh Burton, Josh Niezgoda, and also Ted Gordon of the band, Studying who’s EP, ‘Songs About Leaving Home‘ I glowingly reviewed earlier this year. The demos were originally recorded in the fall of 2010 with Mike York from Pianos Become the Teeth. Despite that this demo is over a year old and from what I understand went largely overlooked other than being exchanged among friends of the band mates I feel inclined to review this seeing as punk has had a fairly good year with a resurgence in new material from Pianos Become the Teeth, Iceage, Circle Takes the Square, La Dispute, and Touche Amore amongst a slew of other musical identities that put out music this year.
The first two tracks’A God Creates Itself’ and “The Nerve of the Nerve of the Nerve” do well at expressing the post-rock influenced sound that is prevalent within the bands music. Drums carry the first part of the song; a clean affair that intensely builds, foreshadowing the obligatory moment where the band relentlessly rips into their instruments. The final song, a track that may be one of the most powerful performances I’ve heard all year, ‘Philia’, is a nearly 12 minute long epic reminiscent of what one might come to expect from City of Caterpillar. It starts out appropriately enough, with a long sample from the 1976 film, ‘Network’, in which Mr. Howard Beale gives his speech on the corruption of the world through monopolized corporations. Whether the sample is intended to reinforce a political statement of the band or used to simply express an unrelated form of aggression through another’s words, I am unsure but it is clear that it sets the mood for the rest of the song all while continuing to establish the already present atmosphere that was formally instilled within the previous tracks. If there is any indication as to why you should check this demo out it is for the vocals and drumming which are hands down two of the best performances I’ve heard in recent times.
For a demo, the sound is pretty much spotless, which to some may be a turn off, especially in terms of punk and hardcore music, but no worries, the music that is here is anything but clean, rather laden with twisted and complex guitar playing, emotionally drenched screams, and triumphant drumming.
Overall, a great taste of hopefully what is in store from this well kept secret. This is the raw expression of one’s values, an outlook on the world from the perspective of socially confused and angry individuals, people who represent all of us at one point in our lives. It is philosophy and these are the philosophers of today; this is punk rock, plain and simple. Check them out, tell your friends and have your friends tell their friend’s friends.
Overall Rating: 8.8
Favorite Track: ‘Philia’
Recommended: Fans of Pianos Become the Teeth, City of Caterpillar, and Pg. 99, Pyramids