The Saddest Landscape - Live at New Alliance [digital single] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Saddest Landscape

Live at New Alliance [digital single] (2013)

Topshelf Records

The same day the Saddest Landscape dropped the impressive Exit Wounded, Live at New Alliance continues the upswing. It's only two tracks long but despite its flaws, mostly stemming from the vocals, there's enough emotional connection conveyed to reel in and hook the listener.

"Desperate Vespers" remains TSL's best song from their best album, After The Lights. While lyrics like 'When you come home from the hospital / Let me be the first to welcome you / Hands outstretched / Holding my sincerest apology / I'll be waiting to tell you / All the things I just couldn't say before / How your smile wears me down / How I'm better off having known you' is generated with passion and angst by Andy Maddox on the mic, don't expect anything of high quality. Amid the rough, unimpressive quality, he pours a little too much emotion into the mic–either that or he was sick. Maddox is direly off-key but what can one really expect from post-hardcore screamo? He's not made for The Voice. You can overlook this if you're into the genre.

The drummer and guitarist both heavily shred it, however. But to pick one profound standout, it comes down to Aaron Neigher's work on the kit. He's crisp, tight and in time with everything. The depressive "Eternity is Lost on the Dying" is a prime example. It made 2010's You Will Not Surive that much more potent, and that's the case here, too. Hearing the band perform live, spilling on loss, grief and being taken for granted by the world is most welcomed. The great breakdowns, vibe and overall energy is abundant. Apart from the minor detractions above, one should listen to this and start campaigning for TSL to release another split...with Pianos Become the Teeth, Touche Amore and Departures this time. Yes, we can.