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Since by Man - Pictures from the Hotel Apocalypse (Cover Artwork)

Since by Man

Since by Man: Pictures from the Hotel ApocalypsePictures from the Hotel Apocalypse (2005)
Revelation Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


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

With Pictures from the Hotel Apocalyspe, Since by Man craft an intense, cathartic followup to 2003's We Sing the Body Electric with a title whose theme is meant to be taken rather seriously. It's a pensive, urgent record that could practically be a very loose concept album, invoking the imagery of e.
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With Pictures from the Hotel Apocalyspe, Since by Man craft an intense, cathartic followup to 2003's We Sing the Body Electric with a title whose theme is meant to be taken rather seriously. It's a pensive, urgent record that could practically be a very loose concept album, invoking the imagery of everything crashing down during the world's final 39 minutes. As if the liner notes, with numerous photographic shots of hotel residents seemingly prepared for the coming catastrophe, weren't enough, the soundscape comes alive with Since by Man's songwriting, which, while occasionally sophomoric to the point of cringing, gets the job done, consistently straining an approaching disaster of sorts ("this decadence kills all class / the cannibals refuse to fast / timecodes gone and run off track / we kill for our future"), and works rather well in its given contexts here, conveying an album that can cause a listener to enjoy what should otherwise should be a sorely uncomfortable, chaotic event.

Musically, Pictures is just as challenging as past works, but in new and exciting ways. In fact, while it most certainly retains its Refused / Dillinger Escape Plan influences and hardcore/metal tendencies (sporadic mini-breakdowns, cheesy guitar squealing, etc.) of the band's past, it's also Since by Man's most ambitious effort to date, which is a quick jump from the solid if not noticeably regressed A Love Hate Relationship EP of last year. At its most usual, the album bears a closer resemblance to Vaux than any of the band's earlier material, with a highly refined wall of sound providing a mess of scenic noise for scratchy, distorted vocals, which sound like they're coming from the back of the room, to play off of. And while comparisons to a harsher version of mewithoutYou might be drawn throughout the album, "Insider Lines," with its ethereal spoken word and cascading guitar scapes, could most definitely be a B-side from Catch Us for the Foxes. Its pacing might help the track masquerade it as a mid-album breather, but it's actually a rather complex eye of the storm. Like MWY, guitars are many times playing off each other in that similarly Biblical, telling way, often with a meandering vocal line weaving its way through its intercourse, if not subtly drawing from a prog base ("The Neon Wilderness"). "Binary Heart Attack" prods along with the band's signature use of electronics, sputtering along a sludgy course with an eerie, echoing ping lingering nearby.

Red Knife Lottery's Ashley Chapman makes a guest appearance in two tracks here, and her manic voice is a perfect match for SBM's artful disarray. Her disheveled, hobo lady shout of "holy ghost please don't forsake me now!" fits the collapsing atmosphere in "Quid Pro Quo Motherfucker" quite spot on, and her eerie, abstracted moaning in the six-minute closer "Photographer Ex Post Facto" sets up the album's final points well.

Lyrically, the band could be a little stronger. Since by Man is a bit blunt in this department, and the most vivid proof is actually in one of its catchiest areas. "Emergency and Me" gets to points rather quickly and as such is a certainly compelling track for an opener, but being drawn in so far is a bit of an issue when the lines of "streets run red / everyone is dead / and my pulse bleeds / emergency! emergency! / motherfuckin' emergency!" are offered up. Sure, maybe a little more specification is a nice alternative from a band you'd expect to load up their songs with metaphor and vague-to-the-point-of-losing-all-thoughtful-depections scrawlings, but the oversimplication of the album's theme is a bit much at times, and mildly damages its overall quality.

Still, the consistent, dark Pictures from the Hotel Apocalypse is quite an expansive record, an interesting step forward from Electric that's in many ways similar but arguably in a whole new genre style from the predecessor.

MP3
Emergency and Me

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Scraps and Heart Attacks - Still SickThe Letters Organize - Dead Rhythm MachineWow, Owls! - Pick Your PatternsSince By Man - A Love Hate RelationshipCave In - Perfect Pitch BlackArmalite - ArmaliteCrime in Stereo - The Troubled StatesideThe Get Up Kids - Live At The Granada TheaterThis Is Hell - This Is HellNo Roses - Hell or High Water

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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.
Anonymous (May 24, 2006)

[i] damn [/i]

Anonymous (May 24, 2006)

[i]no[i]

Anonymous (May 24, 2006)

[i]piss[/i]

Archangel (January 19, 2006)

This comment serves no purpose; I'm just trying to see if I can italicize.

Either this [i]or this[/i] will do it.

Anonymous (October 29, 2005)

Yeah and being green vandal mean you have an identity. Fucking Tool.

GreenVandal (October 28, 2005)

Thanks for setting me straight anonymous poster. You always know just the right things to say!

Anonymous (October 28, 2005)

Posted by GreenVandal on 2005-10-27 22:23:44

"This band is terrible."

Coming from you that isn't saying anything.

Anonymous (October 28, 2005)

I actually really liked We sing the Body Electric. Much more exciting than anything else coming out at that time. Expecially over the whole Thrice bullshit that was so popular at the time.

GreenVandal (October 27, 2005)

This band is terrible.

Anonymous (October 27, 2005)

"guitars are many times playing off each other in that similarly Biblical"

biblical?

what does biblical sound like?

wyzo

Anonymous (October 27, 2005)

Wow, Revelation actually put out a record! That's amazing. They do like what, one album a year? If Equal Vision can make a comeback so can Revelation.

Anonymous (October 27, 2005)

""boring band,a long time ago punk was invented because of such shitty music"

is that a compliment? well ive only heard a few songs from there new album, but so for they sound pretty decent. I would rather listen to these guys then like FBTMAF or something that are in the same quirky tech-lite hardcore genre"

the guy was saying that this is the kind of music punk set out to destroy...it wasnt a compliment, but it wasnt correct either...i'ld say if any modern band fit that description, it would be A7X

ClicheMyHeart (October 27, 2005)

"boring band,a long time ago punk was invented because of such shitty music"

is that a compliment? well ive only heard a few songs from there new album, but so for they sound pretty decent. I would rather listen to these guys then like FBTMAF or something that are in the same quirky tech-lite hardcore genre

Anonymous (October 27, 2005)

shit

Anonymous (October 26, 2005)

i thought this was one of those bands everyone liked around here

Anonymous (October 26, 2005)

good abum, some good doublebass filled breakdowns too

Anonymous (October 26, 2005)

oops i crapped my pants

Anonymous (October 26, 2005)

boring band,a long time ago punk was invented because of such shitty music

SilentStorms (October 26, 2005)

oops I mispelled that

SilentStorms (October 26, 2005)

oops i misred that

SilentStorms (October 26, 2005)

A 7 for the record, a fuckin' 10 for Superboy! Ahhh a car riding a dinosaur!

Sirens (October 26, 2005)

wow this isnt that good at all

Anonymous (October 26, 2005)

Another boring, uninteresting, uninspired and untalented band reviewed...
and gets a pretty good score by the way...

But I guess that's no news.

BTown (October 25, 2005)

These guys really are awesome live.

Archangel (October 25, 2005)

Man I wish we could edit comments. Remember remember... smooth.

Archangel (October 25, 2005)

I saw this band a few weeks ago. It was... ridiculous. As I remember, the singer was trying to fit in every rock star cliche he could remember.

sickboi (October 25, 2005)

Superdude is gonna get my in trouble at work for laughing too much...this shit is hilarious...

superdude (October 25, 2005)

This review was pretty good, but here's how I'd make it better:

1. Woah! Cool optical illuision!

2. Next time I would put one of thoe cool pictures where yoy have to blur your eyes to make the picture show up.

3. And the picture can be a dinosaur or a race car.

4. OR a car racing a dinosaur!

steveman (October 25, 2005)

Very interesting band. Great live, but it's hard for me to take them in more than a small dose.

Anonymous (October 25, 2005)

shit, isnt that album cover the logo for tomas kalnoky's music protection company?

Anonymous (October 25, 2005)

stuff from the head not from the belly
very good to write about, awful to listen to....

bemused (October 25, 2005)

I remember having to decide whether to get SBM last album or On the Might of Princes album. Man did I make a mistake with OTMOP. Snoozefest '03. Wish I'd given these guys a go instead

-Chris-

Anonymous (October 25, 2005)

okay Phil Spector....

Anonymous (October 25, 2005)

super powerful live band. they are a wall of sound.

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