There’s a Scream for That
Fresh from their 2011 debut, Seeing Clearly, metalcore romantics Everyone Dies in Utah have promptly delivered a sophomore follow-up in Polarities, an indelicate, often pudding-headed romp down Screamo Lane. Called upon in ample measure are trappings requisite to a faddish genre: propulsive bone-crunching riffs, twee triumphant synths, and most important of all, lung-shredding screams—in whatever context, no matter how incongruent. From on-the-road nostalgia to gushing about a lady friend, and perhaps even a kitty playing with twine, twin banshees Danny Martinez and Justin Yost have just the glass-shattering, from-the-pelvis shrieks for you. In fact, when isn’t an occasion for a hearty, throat-clearing exclamation of doom? Answer: probably this whole album.
But still, for the quieter more introspective track, “A Glowing Core Through the Glass Floor,” you have to wait an interminable two and a half minutes before hearing the indiscriminate cries we crave. Thankfully, comfort in the familiar is returned when during this overdue passage we have no idea what’s being said again. What a relief! After all, all we need to know is the band went entirely too long without an ubiquitous tonsil-scrubbing yowl or two. Close call there, Utah.
“Welcome to the World” charts a more pacifying course, however, double bass drumming its way through a series of common saw-blade screeches, only to later “put it all in perspective” with some vague, albeit melodic musings about the Fourth of July. It’s like screamo soup for the soul. A song best exemplifying the album’s dichromic title would have to be “Synthia, Where’s R2?”—an atomized, blustering Sybil Dorsett number with a voice for every occasion, including times of sad-happiness, anger-love, and my personal favorite, peace-rage.
In “The View from Here,” bubble gum chants of “whoa oh, whoa oh!” are nestled, nonsensically, between more of their patent-pending gurgles of the spleen-horking persuasion, and in a lapse of judgment perhaps only understandable to the band, the temptation to scream is temporarily suspended amid “Simply Me.” As the album draws to a close with its namesake “Polarities,” rarely have I so strongly seconded a song’s vocal. “It’s over now, it’s over now!” we hear repeated, and to that I have a spasmodic scream of my own: Yes and amen!