Abolitionist - At the Level of the Ear [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


At the Level of the Ear [7-inch] (2011)


Abolitionist present something of a jarring contrast on their debut 7", At the Level of the Ear. While the release's cover features stomach-turning evidence of the 1994 Rwanda genocide, and the insert includes an information packet about helping the third world, their music comes at broader strokes, targeting injustice and inequality in the abstract sense.

On "At the Level of the Ear", the group wonders why the world is in such terrible shape, and points at Europe as a main cause of the problems. While the song could be applied to the Rwandan on the cover, it seems that the group is grasping for a more timeless tale than a specific one. While the music is influenced by Jawbreaker, they keep the music quickly clipping along, giving it an upbeat tone despite its rather gruesome topics.

"Lie", from the flipside, pulls an interesting switcheroo. While it starts off almost as a standard three-chord pop-punker, midway through the vocals drop out and it revs into a shifting, almost Motörhead-esque, fist-slamming instrumental.

Abolitionist have created a surprisingly mature sound on their first release. With an LP coming out in June, it looks like they might be able to stand out in the horde of Jawbreaker-influenced groups with their contrast between specificity and abstractionism.