Punknews.org
Self Defense Family - Try Me (Cover Artwork)

Self Defense Family

Self Defense Family: Try MeTry Me (2014)
Deathwish

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: RENALDO69RENALDO69
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Self Defense Family is a band that produces consistently perplexing music, which isn't a bad thing. They tow the lines between ambition and overzealous experimentation in a manner that fans of The Mars Volta, Troubled Coast, La Dispute and MewithoutYou would appreciate. Try Me represents their most .
iTunes StoreAmazon


Self Defense Family is a band that produces consistently perplexing music, which isn't a bad thing. They tow the lines between ambition and overzealous experimentation in a manner that fans of The Mars Volta, Troubled Coast, La Dispute and MewithoutYou would appreciate. Try Me represents their most distinct and comprehensive blend of spoken-word/post-rock that matches, but doesn't surpass any of their older material. That's a tall order given that they've always stuck to their guns and produced emotionally-laced, heart-driven and cathartic music that prods and provokes fans who are often left in wonder at their genre or genre-crossover style. Musically and stylistically, SDF seem to have found their definitive voice here.

What the album suffers from is simply too long a running time and an unbalanced structure that robs it of a half-star again. The first half is solid and standout in all ways possible but the second half meanders and drags on a bit. But the opening trio of tracks provide enough fodder to latch onto and absorb a la SDF's typical abstract art and musical perspective. "Tithe Pig" consists of torturous riffs and angst-ridden chords that label it with so much despair and cynicism. It's haunting and a perfect foil to "Nail House Music" which tonally sounds like a Rolling Stones tribute with its intricate guitarwork. Patrick Kindlon eschews all his idiosyncrasies and introverted poetry into tense spoken-word, more so than in the past, with the tracks laden with emotion and heavy honesty. It feels like his therapy and confessions.

The organic extension of SDF's haunting vibe careens even more with "Turn The Fan On". These three songs thus far collectively feel like a perfect summary of the band. The redacted pace, or lack thereof, suits well as the slow, flushed sounds come off rough, grainy and very unpolished, which complement Kindlon's somber disposition. Caroline Corrigan is a showstopper on "Mistress Appears At A Funeral" with a nice edgy post-punk, indie feel. It offsets the tone Kindlon sets but it's a welcome respite nonetheless.

But come tracks like "Angelique One" and "Angelique two", there's an assemblage of monotone that sinks in. Some tracks are a bit too long and no matter how much they prove a lyrical mirror to Kindlon's raw passion, the music suffers. Kindlon's low-intensity and low-brow deliveries feel like a forced calm here and a tad exhausting. His voice cracks like sobs at times to try to reel you back in to the sound established earlier but the project slightly slips away here. However, "Weird Fingering" returns with an accessible and captivating toll that returns the band to favor. It's a simple, instrumentally sound song that once more focusses on the band's strengths as the earlier songs show. Crisp drums, soothing basslines and powerful words.

Overall, this record will hold enormous weight as one of SDF's most massive outputs. The tracks that take away from the record aren't that bad. They're just misplaced in the order of things. A bit better rearranging and this'll be a big winner for fans of post-hardcore and die-hards of Kindlon's schemes. But there's no taking away that Try Me has enough legs to take acclaim as one of the records that will have you pressing repeat in the first half of 2014. It takes a bit of time to sink into and immerse fully, and this is a band you'll either love or hate, but this album is worth the gamble.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Hot Water Music - ExisterAgainst Me! - Transgender Dysphoria BluesTitle Fight - Floral GreenPaint It Black - Invisible [EP]The Menzingers - On the Impossible PastThe Lawrence Arms - MetropoleModern Baseball - You're Gonna Miss It AllThe Hotelier - Home, Like Noplace Is ThereNothington - Roads, Bridges and RuinsCobra Skulls - American Rubicon

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
praveshkumar796 (May 13, 2014)

Very, very funny name of the band " Self defense Family". First time i was confuse about the name because it's not looks like a professional name. But both require for healthy life, music and self defense technique. Music makes life beautiful and self defense makes life secure. Awesome rockk!!!!
http://www.healthgenie.in/personal-care/women-care/sel f-defense

jamespastepunk (January 16, 2014)

Where's that Cam'Ron U MAD gif?

gugl0003 (January 14, 2014)

Somebody's butt is huuuuurt.

theTopher (January 14, 2014)

I think the reality is somewhere between Dan and James' takes. I wanted to like this a bunch, but I just couldn't find enough solid music. There are things by these guys that I've really liked, but this is not one of them. They do lay on the pretentiousness a bit thick, and I don't see how it could be an important record in any way but a personal one.

That said, I got more out of reading the comments than the review.

danperrone (January 14, 2014)

to the guy below me:

"This is the first truly important record of 2014."

"Renaldo has missed the point pretty clearly here."

both of these statements are absolutely ludicrous. is this REALLY an important record? even if it were hailed by everyone as one of the best records of the year...is it actually important? why can't you just say it's a great record? why do you have to harp on its "importance" or think that the record has some sort of "point" that most people who don't dig it are missing?

you're literally eating out of the singer's hand when you say shit like this. whatever pretension he's spewing is clearly having an effect on you, and leads you to believe that try me is something more than it actually is.

twenty-plus minutes of interviews have no place on records, and try me shouldn't be recognized as "important" for including them. and as far as the music itself goes, i can appreciate some of it, but it's largely tuneless and forgettable.

jamespastepunk (January 14, 2014)

This is the first truly important record of 2014. The Angelique interviews are staggering. I couldn't handle listening to them.

To be polite, Renaldo has missed the point pretty clearly here.

MichaelConway (January 14, 2014)

I just don't like it and I don't see how I am missing what all these people say is such a great record.

VinceMcMahon (January 14, 2014)

Also, this:

gugl0003 (14 hours ago)

There's a whole lotta words here, but not a whole lotta sense being made.

VinceMcMahon (January 14, 2014)

Album of this year or last

danperrone (January 14, 2014)

this band is a fraud

eazyd2 (January 13, 2014)

"There's a whole lotta words here, but not a whole lotta sense being made."

that should definitely be renaldos epitaph

kursk64 (January 13, 2014)

It's no 'The Corrections Officer In Me' but still a great record.

gugl0003 (January 13, 2014)

There's a whole lotta words here, but not a whole lotta sense being made.

Exclusive Streams

Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go