Released on: 16 March 2012
They’re from: Alexandria, Virginia / Boston, Massachusetts
Sounds like: Two doses of twinkly, mathy screamo recorded through a thick sheet of fog.
Hear it: http://sinatradc.bandcamp.com/album/sinatra-i-kill-giants-split
I was pretty jazzed to finally hear Sinatra 2.0, which makes a lot of sense if you recall my review of Sinatra 1.0 and their EP Lost in Hyrule. After the first few seconds of the 6-minute-plus “I Had Three or a Lot of Beers,” however, it’s pretty apparent that we aren’t in Hyrule anymore.
New Sinatra isn’t leaner and meaner; it’s moodier, less crisp, and nimble as a tugboat— sweet, slow, and heavy like math-rock dunked in molasses— simultaneously more atmospheric and more noisy, sporting chunks of distressed feedback— yet still distantly dancey, especially during the piecey instrumental “Spectral Analysis” that seems to channel Pneu and Fang Island all at once.
What’s both exciting and worrisome about Sinatra’s half of the split is that I can’t get a handle on the band’s sound. They’re like a math-rockin’, noise-rockin’, 7-tentacled hentai beast, but I’ve only got a few available orifices. I know it’s only a two-song effort on their part, and I hesitate to call it unfocused, but fuck it, I’m calling it unfocused. As much promise as each of Sinatra’s many new phallic rape tentacles show, I miss the tighter songwriting of Lost in Hyrule. It’s not like I begrudge them for exploring their sound though— two songs on a split is probably the best place to do it.
On the other half of the split, we have I Kill Giants— a band I’m not entirely familiar with. Having put a few listens under my belt, they’re pretty fuckin’ cool. Think a screamier, jazzier, messier Ghost Cat. And that quintessential math-rock guitar tone! You’ll know it when you hear it in the first thirty seconds of “Sirens.” Poppier and more angular than their split-mates, I Kill Giants rock cleans and spoken word on top of their screams, and the combination’s quite refreshing.
“X’s” rings out punkier, looser, feels more like earlier Clair de Lune, maybe On the Might of Princes— with a turn-of-the-millennium sort of lo-fi production. The dancey midpoint that segues into a lengthy instrumental section is one of the better moments on the split. With their tireless guitar parts and frenetic rounds of scattered vocal deliveries, I Kill Giants are a neat counterpoint to Sinatra.
From the standpoint of a more casual listener, both bands could stand some cleaner production, but the respectable amount of new ideas packed into this split will give it some staying power with the cool kids. Keep your eyes peeled and your ears de-waxed for more offerings from Sinatra and I Kill Giants in the future.