Goes Cube – In Tides and Drifts
Release: 2011Mar09 (US)
Label: The End Records
Goddamn, I love Kylesa. The band haven’t made it into my 2009 and 2010 “Best of” lists for nothing, and I didn’t always think so highly of them. The band needed to progress beyond the paths they started down during Time will Fuse Its Worth, and have since successfully created most memorable heavy atmospheres. I compared the Georgians to the then-fledgling Goes Cube on my review of their debut, where I also likened them to fellow New Yorkers Helmet.
This is most clear on their shorter songs, which is where I tend to enjoy the band. The opening trio all kick around the two-minute mark, with no want for greater length; listen for the brief passage in “Property” that sounds lightly lifted from Spiral Shadow‘s “Crowded Road”. Though “Year of the Human” was just not for me, and the minimalist existential midsection dragged like the dog days of summer; I don’t think it was a good choice for the MetalSucks NYC Sucks Comp.
It’s not like they can’t make this work. Take a track like “Urbana-Champaign” from Another Day has Passed—it’s kinda rough going thorough the verses, but the chorus? Go listen to it right now, and I challenge you to not hum along. These are the kind of songs that not only propel their move toward more expansive territories, but enticingly draw you along with their deliciously baited hooks. They hit an ambitious stride with the first part in “The Story is…” trilogy, however weaken while the story “Goes” and “Ends”, despite interesting moments in the final minute of both tracks. And this is my main gripe with the band as a whole: they write cool segments, not cohesive songs.
We saw this left and right on the last album—tunes that felt unfinished in more ways than one—but despite having the same number of tracks, the album clocks in about five minutes shorter and is better for it. Goes Cube has a NYHC sense of urgency that drives their better tracks like “Gray and Winter” with a badass blackened blastbeat backbone—besting their other “colored” ditty, “Bluest Sky”, which opened their last release. But their most inspired compositions were collaborated with folk singer Jaymay on the concluding title track and in “The Homes of”; she softens the blow from the departure of founding bassist Matthew Frey (he contributed to writing In Tides and Drifts, but Matt Tyson is the new member). Dare I say: her ethereal aura is most… pleasant.
Looks like I wound back around to Kylesa to conclude. Seems appropriate, considering their career trajectory feels similar—this trio just has two fewer members. And even though forefathers like Helmet are showing more promise than they have in years, there is plenty of room for Goes Cube to grow in The Big Apple’s concrete jungle.
FCC: 1, 4
Try: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 13
01. Safety Coffin
04. Year of the Human
05. The Homes of
06. Gray and Winter
07. The Story is the Story Begins
08. The Story is the Story Goes
09. The Story is the Story Ends
10. Small Pond, Small Fish
11. Lines On the Map
12. The Ban Has Been Lifted
13. In Tides and Drifts