The Coma Recovery - Drown That Holy End in Wine (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Coma Recovery

Drown That Holy End in Wine (2006)

Failed Experiment

Each year there is a scant number of records that comes out of nowhere and knocks you on your ass. The Coma Recovery's Drown That Holy End in Wine is one such record. The album is seemingly nondescript except for the beautiful DVD-sized package and the only initial reference point being the production from Chris Common of These Arms Are Snakes.

And yet, within the first minute of the lengthy opener "Glory of Alone," I was most certainly hooked. Firmly rooted in the progressive hardcore/screamo of the awesome City of Caterpillar, and expanding on that rich vocabulary with moments of distant ambience and post-rock, Drown is one of the most stunning records to be released this year.

A lengthy six-minute track, "The Glory of Alone" greets you and slowly layers keys, guitars, bass and drums before exploding with the passionate vocals of frontman Daniel Brigman, who seems determined to keep himself from being swallowed up by the dense arrangements behind him. By the second track, "I Left My Body in Oregon," the band showcases a remarkably executed and highly rhythmic opening, bolstered by bass scratches and provides a brief respite.

By the time the vocals kick back in on "Creation in a Handbook," it becomes clear that Drown is a special record, not just in the songwriting, but even in the minute details of sparsely used keyboards and perfect sequencing of the tracks. "Jet Ring Set" maintains a similar rhythmic focus and post-rock leads, like Explosions in the Sky gone very, very dark.

Over the eight songs, which stretch over fifty minutes, the album ventures to dark places, nearly drowning in the expansive nature of the sound, but always knowing when to let up, like the beautiful interlude in "Charm of a Pessimist. "

Though there is always a risk of a band indulging their musicianship while ignoring the music with lengthy material like this, the Coma Recovery never fails to allow the narrative to slip below the instrumentation, each track feels organically executed and manages to synthesize their ideas without ever sounding like a bunch of parts strung together.

This is music by and for fans of early screamo like City of Caterpillar, pg.99 and Envy as well as newer post-rock/hardcore outfits like Isis and Pelican and manages to be one of the finest and most creative debuts released in 2006.