Residuals - Grief (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Grief (2011)

Melotov / Radical Friends

Residuals reside on the west coast and seem to come from the same sect of progressive hardcore/screamo over there that's birthing greats like Touché Amoré and Caravels. The young trio has already staked out their own territory with a very solid, very promising debut EP titled Grief. While it's likely to be overshadowed by a certain other forward-thinking hardcore band making their full-length debut with the exact same title (in the same damn month no less), it's definitely got its own style and mindset.

It's unlikely Residuals have even heard of the UK act, but they embrace a lot of the frothy, scrappy aggression that made November Coming Fire's Dungeness–as well as its tinges of more doomy and crusty elements–such a notable hardcore album, while integrating a bit of Comadre's craggy playfulness to boot. It's a big, smokey sound that still manages to free up a lot of space and never sound too claustrophobic, and it shows consideration for the dynamic of the sound.

Through an abruptly quicker tempo in opener "Ghostly Roots", more upbeat, gravelly singing in "Despair", and some flashes of straightforward aggression aside a moderately anthemic moment in "Subsistence", Grief might have a very consistently smoldering flow, but it's moments like these that stick out to make it more interesting.

The last two tracks are probably Grief's best: "For Joy" opens ominously, and then breaks into a fierce, moderately crushing romp like a mid-tempo Cursed (one definite influence), while "Harpy", re-recorded from the band's demo, has some tension-building, push-pull riffing, and then a suddenly bottom-dropped, bass-ridden maniacal thump that's just gripping.

All in all, Residuals have garnered themselves some well-deserved recognition with Grief. Check it out for a hardcore sound that's not being replicated too often these days.