WEAK, the debut EP from Terrible As The Dawn, kicks off with ‘Stains’, a song full of screeched vocals and atonal guitar work that is very reminiscent of the bands I loved (and still do) from the late 90’s/early 2000’s hardcore scene. Especially the ones doing weird stuff, bands like Daughters, Circle Takes The Square, and basically anything on the Three One G label. It’s a sound I adore and was very welcoming upon first listen. In fact, Terrible As The Dawn’s entire sound is a wonderful mishmash of genres I love. Everything from dissonant hardcore to grinding heaviness to indie rock to 80’s goth work together to create a sound that is often times chaotic and spellbinding.
Forming as a way to deal with the stress and emotions of their concurring and separate divorces, Caroline Fukuchi (guitar, vocals) and Stephen Smith (drums, vocals) created a sound that is emotionally brutal. The vocals often sound painful and invoke true emotions as opposed to just screaming for the sake of sounding “heavy”. In fact, WEAK might be one of the most emotionally real and raw albums I’ve ever heard. The interplay of grinding chaos and early Cursive style indie rock works well to counterbalance each other. ‘Dead’, the third song on the album, is the best Cursive song that Tim Kasher never wrote. The spoken word/singing into full blown screech of “all that I want is to find someway…. home!” hits me hard every time I hear it.
The marriage of genres reaches its pinnacle on closing song, ‘Ghosts’. Its fast punk feel crescendos into a heavy and noisy ending that feels cathartic and needed, like something being kept bottled up finally succumbing to the pressure and exploding. It’s my favorite part of the album and a perfect way for the EP to end. It leaves you longing for more.
WEAK is an album designed by conflict. Everything about the music and vocals is epitomized by the idea of conflict. The atonal nature of hardcore fighting against 90’s indie rock. The screeched vocals fighting against the clean singing. It’s all conflict, and conflict is something that is universal. Everyone deals with it and Terrible As The Dawn have recorded the perfect sound to help deal with those feelings of depression and anger that might result from any conflicts that happens in your life.
You can pick up a digital copy of WEAK from Terrible As The Dawn’s Bandcamp page HERE!