A Voice Like Rhetoric - Ethos (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

A Voice Like Rhetoric

Ethos (2006)


A Voice Like Rhetoric most certainly seem like a great example of a modern band weaned on the hyper prog-punk guitars of the Fall of Troy and the Sound of Animals Fighting (circa 2004). They're certainly part of a small group of bands, but ones that search for a little more within a scene largely dismissed for repetition and unoriginality, and that's why their nicely packaged (from the recording to the artwork) DIY effort is, in the very least, worth a mention.

Where A Voice Like Rhetoric's penchant for utter, mind-bending complexity reaches a bit short is in the very areas from which it should emanate: vocally and musically. The band's arrangements are well thought out and pleasingly creative, but the singing and slightly rough (but at least, never forced) screaming seem standard fare; they fail to really propel the music to that level it sure seems the band aims for. Nonetheless, their songwriting results in nifty, impressive numbers like "Please Don't Call Me a Mindless Philosophy" with its stomping stop-start guitars and wavering vocal melodies, or "Man, Multiplication Is Hard!" in its air-worthy axes. "Familiarity Breeds Contempt" would make a wonderful interlude on Minus the Bear's next album (as it does its purpose well enough here, too).

Ethos narrowly manages to come off like a progressive punk's Guitar Center in its axe-wielding wizardry since there's some decent songwriting at hand here. Once the band is capable of writing a few more awesome songs and not just a few awesome riffs, we'll really have something here.

Never Trust a French Auto Mechanic
Please Don't Call Me a Mindless Philosophy
Pssst, Our Vestige Is Showing
I'm Sort of a Perfectionis... Perfectionis.. T

Ethos album sampler