Should really be reviewing these ‘Post Marked Stamps’ releases in some kind of order, but to be honest with you if we rely on my doing that it’ll take about three years. With this in mind I’ll just start with my favourite of the current batch: a split featuring one Japanese act (Sementos) and one from the UK (Older), both of whom are different and distinct but complement each other very nicely indeed.
Sementos play a loose, warm, sad style of indie-emo that hits a very sweet spot. There’s something quite Chris Leo going on, as though the band are distilling the second albums by The Van Pelt and The Lapse and adding in a dash of that first Vague Angels 7″. The first track, まんまる, lobs in some booming guitar work that makes me think of Silkworm or Karate circa ‘The Bed Is The Ocean’, and 焼石に水を has a chuggier pace and some nice, strained vocals that recall Spy Versus Spy. Their last track, 百鬼夜行, is their most peppy and driving number, deploying big, ringing chords, scrabbly guitar wrangling and rapid-fire vocals – it mixes things up nicely, but I have to admit I prefer them sounding bummed out to tetchy.
Older are a different beast. They play more urgent, splenetic stuff that’s all tumbling guitar parts and desperate, pleading vocals. While not quite screamo they definitely feel like they’re dipping a toe in that side of things, with the rangy tone and jazzier inflections hinting toward Saetia and The Vidablue. ‘Theseus’ rolls along in brilliant, bombastic manner and you can imagine band and audience alike collapsing in a sweaty heap as everyone takes turns howling at the mic. ‘Ambivalence In Technicolour’ is more frantic and shattered for the most part, but its most effective moments tend to be the quietest: the points where the volume drops a few notches and the singer trades in his hoarse, scratchy yells for more plaintive, sorrowful tones.
Great split. Superb, in fact.