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Choke - Slow Fade Or: How I Learned To Question Infinity (Cover Artwork)

Choke

Choke: Slow Fade Or: How I Learned To Question InfinitySlow Fade Or: How I Learned To Question Infinity (2005)
Smallman Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


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

I remember the first time I saw Choke live. I really had no idea what to think of them. Here was some band whose guitars seemed so muddled together while their vocalist sang at some unholy pitch that I ended up just staring at the bassist and wondering how he was able to pluck the strings with his r.
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I remember the first time I saw Choke live. I really had no idea what to think of them. Here was some band whose guitars seemed so muddled together while their vocalist sang at some unholy pitch that I ended up just staring at the bassist and wondering how he was able to pluck the strings with his ring finger so quickly. Finally, after about three more live shows and a couple years later, I decided to actually see how these guys were able to still be around and I was amazed. Choke is the best band that no one has ever heard of.

I loved There's a Story to This Moral. So now, three years later, Choke has outdone themselves with their new album Slow Fade Or: How I Learned to Question Infinity. The band still walks the very fine line between emo-influenced rock and hardcore-influenced punk. They still sound like a hodgepodge of sound thrown together on a whim and they still have that sound that makes them so difficult to get into. But for those that are able to come through all this, they are blessed with a solid effort.

Slow Fade Or: How I Learned to Question Infinity opens with "Breathing Won't Come Easy," and just from the opening riffs and drumming it sets the tone for what is to come. The guitars don't line up, the melodies are off beat and the vocals carry on their own tune that isn't backed by anything else in the band. Overall, the songs seem a bit more complex than previous efforts, especially the guitars. This is seen perfectly on the first track about halfway through when one guitar seems to devolve into complete chaos while the other carries the tune with the bass. And just as quickly as this happens, the ship rights itself and goes with a more normal form and melody â?? a common occurrence on the album.

Overall, the influences that blended together to make previous Choke albums are much more distinct this time around. "Static Remains" starts out with a rather light opening and by the time the chorus rolls around, they dive straight into a heavy, chunky sort of beat. A bridge that is once again suitable for emo rock and is quickly followed by eerie melodies that don't really fit together at all follows this.

The peak of the album is the six-minute plus "It's Not That I Don't Want To," which opens with haunting dual vocals that border more on talking over spacey guitars and light drumming. It is an amazing buildup to a heavy sound that blends many genres into one, peaking at a brief slow mosh riff. And just as soon as it peaks, Choke kills the noise and takes it back to the slow and light sound that the song started in. After another buildup, the band is back to thrashing the bars off the equalizer with an unbridled heaviness that is still rich in soft emotions.

There are some true gems on this album. With many of the songs over or almost at the five-minute mark, Choke has gone the distance on this one. Each song is a beautiful journey on its own while still lacking the musical chaos that is Choke. For fans of Choke, it is an excellent album, perhaps one of their best. For those that do not know of Choke, it is definitely not one of their most accessible albums. They are a tough band to get into and it is hard to slog through your first Choke album. You may not find the guitars going off on their own very pleasing, or the vocals may be too nasally and high pitched. If so, than that is your loss, because this is one of the more inventive albums to come out this year.

[originally written for readysteadyjedi.com]

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Choke - ForewordPassenger Action - Passenger ActionThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Weezer - PinkertonNOFX - The DeclineRise Against - Revolutions Per MinuteThe Loved Ones - Keep Your HeartBelvedere - Fast Forward Eats The TapeThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimAgainst Me! - Searching For A Former Clarity

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
SpacemanSpliffz (August 23, 2012)

Stefan was a lacklustre, half assed shitty drummer. Saw them play intimately and watched him the entire set, thank god for drum editing during the recording process because he is horrible.

Shawn's voice sort of suited the skatecore style from needless to say, but from then on it sounded like a shitty kazzoo.

Clay and Jack are the two talents of this band, and it's a shame Clay chose to go with Shawn and Passenger Action rather than Jack and Team Building. Don't get me wrong, Shawn is an amazing guitar player but should let his talents lie with just that.

The last two choke records were garbage, just as Passenger Action was garbage, fuck this band

thewise (June 28, 2007)

This band ruled. I miss them. Hooray for Passenger Action!

Anonymous (April 18, 2005)

First off, this album is great. I pity the straight-edge kids that will never experience the joys of listening to this album while high.

One thing that pisses me off when I'm drunk and angry (Like right now) though; it's FOREWORD, not FORWARD. Like a preface, NOT the fucking direction!! Get it right!

(Leaves to vomit as a reaction to his own super-fan enthusiasm, or possibly because of beer)

Anonymous (April 16, 2005)

Its impossible for a choke album to suck

the power of them is intense and un rivaled.

although this album is sick, still nothing they have released can be compared to "forward"

Im happy they are still on smallman, still true to there roots and still given'er

Anonymous (April 4, 2005)

I haven't heard this album yet except Breathing won't come easy and i'm pretty satisfied with it...still waiting to buy it when they come in Chicoutimi in May. A long wait but I pretty sure it will be a rewarding experience.

Choke has always been one of my favorite bands and I hope this cd doesn't disappoint me

Check out Smallman Tour...might come in a city near you!

www.smallmanrecords.com

Anonymous (March 29, 2005)

i love how you fags dont like anything that gets reviewed on here, or you give it the ravest review ever. i guess theyre ALL your favorite bands huh? you can stop hiding those my chemical romance cds, we already know you suck.

pwfanatic (March 28, 2005)

i don't know what you are freaking out about. i gave them a good review. i said they were sounded muddled together the very first time i saw them live and had never heard of them. nowhere in the review did i say that is what they are now.

VVV

Anonymous (March 28, 2005)

Whoever wrote this review obviously has no concept of musicianship.
I love this album, but to say that it is more complex than their last efforts is totally ignorant. Have you ever heard Foreward?!! Maybe most of thier stuff is too complicated for you to understand so it comes off as being "muddled together". These guys are the hardest working, most crazy technical band I have ever heard. Aside from being crazy technical, their music also puts out a lot of emotion and sincerity, something that is missing from most technically challenging music that you hear. Sorry to get so worked up but this is one of the only bands out thier anymore that actually peaks my interest and never dissappoints. I hate it when people don't know what they are talking about and give others the wrong impression, especially when it comes to music. Choke are easily the best band around.....check them out!!

xWileyx (March 28, 2005)

To the person bellow me I like your horrible taste in humor

Anonymous (March 28, 2005)

Who ever made the comment comparing bright eyes to choke, is clearly no smarter than terri shiavo. (too soon?)

..and if I posted this twice.. clearly neither am I.

Anonymous (March 28, 2005)

Who ever made the comment comparing bright eyes to choke, is clearly no smarty than terri shiavo. (too soon?)

ubershep (March 27, 2005)

"amazing...best band in canada that's not the weakerthans..."

That would go to the Constantines.

Score's for not being able to go to the Weakerthans/Constanties only Canada tour.

Anonymous (March 27, 2005)

choke is amazing.. and this album is damn good too.. but i was kinda hoping for a song or two with the pace of Foreword.

moneenerd (March 27, 2005)

as much as i love Choke, I dont see how theyre inspired by hardcore punk at all.

Anonymous (March 26, 2005)

Choke cds are pretty cheap on interpunk OR you can download them from emusic for free if you sing up for a trail membership.

Anonymous (March 26, 2005)

it doesnt work for bright eyes and it doesnt work for choke either

axx (March 26, 2005)

me likes Choke. :)

this album sounds very special.. defnitely a step away from most stuff..

fatbrendan (March 26, 2005)

i wrote a review for this album as well which you can read here:

www.punkcanada.net

Anonymous (March 25, 2005)

Um, no. Stupid pretentious bullshit that will never be included in any university curriculum.

-Chinatown

Anonymous (March 25, 2005)

Everyone here should read the book Choke.

Anonymous (March 25, 2005)

amazing...best band in canada that's not the weakerthans...

Inspection12e (March 25, 2005)

Smallman stuff is so expensive in the US. I really want to get some choke cds but can't bring myself to cough up 15 bucks for them.

Anonymous (March 25, 2005)

Great CD...I give it 7/10 for the first listen but that will probably become about a 9 after I get used to the sound of it...like all Choke albums hehe. What's great about this band is that they sound so different from most other bands.

hungryjoe (March 25, 2005)

Yes, Choke from Edmonton.
It's sad that these guys cannot get a US label deal, even after 10 years and 4 very solid albums (plus 2 not-so-great ones). I suppose that just means more Canadian tours, which I can appreciate. I plan to pick this up at the show on Tuesday, and reminisce about high school days and the tours they did with Layaway Plan, and this little-known upstart band called moneen.

Anonymous (March 25, 2005)

What's up with the Dr Strangelove reference?

Anonymous (March 25, 2005)

Choke? Is this that band from Edmonton?

Anonymous (March 25, 2005)

not that this was a bad review, but, honestly i don't understand your view on these guys saying things like the guitars dont line up and are muddled together. they line up brilliantly, they're an amazing technical band. this album is actually some what toned down on the tech side as compared to older ones such as 'foreword'.

anyways, it's really about time this band got the attention they deserve, and this album is cheap as shit so pick it up. if you're a fan of faster more "punk" styled stuff then check out their older albums 'lotion', 'giv'er', 'needless to say', and 'foreword'.

-me

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