A Season of Songs, day 4: Crystallize

A Season of Songs is a type of Fun-A-Day project that I plan to do throughout this spring.  I’ll hit shuffle on the ol’ iPod and see what comes up.  I’ll then write a bit about that song, the band, the record, whatever.  Enjoy!

In some ways we go to the opposite side of the song spectrum with today’s song and in some ways were on the same wavelength.  Today’s song is “Crystallize” by Envy, taken from their 2006 album Insomniac Doze.  Compared with Drop Dead’s 1:05 song, Envy’s clocks in at 10:34.  Where “You Have A Voice” is a swift kick to the gut, “Crystallize” has many parts and many textures.  But both bands come from a similar spot – hardcore as both physical and emotional release; and in my experience, both bands leave it all on the floor when they perform.

I somehow didn’t get into any of the bigger post-rock bands as they were originally coming about in the early 2000’s.  Godspeed You Black Emperor, Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, etc – somehow they all escaped my interest.  Then several of my friend’s ended up being in bands of the style.  One of those bands, The Sea Like Lead, ended up playing with Envy when they came through Pittsburgh in 2006.  I had never actually heard Envy, but had heard good things and wanted to support my friends, so I went to the show, despite it being at Garfield Artworks.

Now that I’ve done a little research into that show, I believe it was The Sea Like Lead’s 2nd to last show, so that’s certainly my main impetus for being there.  Nonetheless, I ended up being blown away by Envy’s live show.  A hot August night in Garfield Artworks with a bunch of people getting pummeled by a wall of noise.  In a recounting of that night, I referred to them as “a less “hardcore”, more post-rock Still Life”, which I think is an interested comparison in retrospect (Still Life are definitely one of my favorite 90’s emo bands)  At the show I picked up the “All the Footprints You’ve Ever Left and the Fear Expecting Ahead” CD (2001) and really jammed that hard for a long time.  I think I downloaded the “Insomniac Doze” tracks a couple years later.  Also a really good record, but I think I enjoy the “All The Footprints…” songs better.

Other interesting quote from my show review: “sleeping people didn’t do it for me, but got to hang outside and listen to joel talk about nature’s biggest “fuck you”, which in the end might have been lava, hurricanes, the sun or black holes. i don’t think a final determination was made.”

A good night, a good band, a good song.  Check it out.

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