The Curtains/ New Ruins split that emerged in November 2018 packs a picture of a wide swath of screamo. Calfornia’s Curtains contribute five strikingly complicated tracks of raw emotion on which even the instrumentals sound like they’re screaming, lending towards an utterly devastating listening experience that leaves emotions in tatters. Meanwhile, Canada’s New Ruins add two much more contemplative tracks that prove much more musically and emotionally open. Their attack is more subtle; the songs creep up on the listener as the vocalist takes them for a ride through heartache and its confusion and suddenly, those taking in the music find themselves at the pit of the emotional waterfall where the band members have positioned themselves.
Both bands utilize their instrumentation in the service of the overall “message” quite effectively and excitingly.
If you’re looking for an exploratory experience of just how far noisy emotional music can go, Curtains have you covered. Their songs are complicated and noisy — but so are the emotions that knock us left and right on a daily basis. There’s a clear and strong sense that Curtains’ contributions to the split are portraying a specific emotional state that could never be fully explored in words. The songs are an experience demanding immersion. Rather than sticking with a single either emotional or musical theme, the band take listeners for a roller coaster ride that as a byproduct, whether intentional or not, says something important about us as human beings while at the same time maintaining a unique musical sensibility. Curtains have tapped into the fact that loss on any front never escapes us as human beings — and it’s possible to get close to conveying that devastation with music.
New Ruins’ songs — comparatively at least — are for days a bit lighter in tone, although this is screamo so they’re not about to go too far off down a yellow brick road. The band feel more concerned with direct storytelling, which they accomplish quite nicely, buttressing their efforts with supportive music along the way. Their music builds up before tumbling down, portraying a nuanced picture of what it’s like to run headfirst into chaos, which we all do as humans at times and the band members did in their artistic capacity while bringing this work to life.
Both artists ultimately provide a clear and all encompassing snapshot of what it’s like to be a human.
Listen below via Bandcamp