They and the Children - Home (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

They and the Children

Home (2008)

Kill Normal

When They and the Children's Home completes its 38-minute running time, it's hard to try and pinpoint select moments where the band's absolute destruction and chaos stood out. But when Home is on, it really is on -- and that can be read in more than one way.

They and the Children dabble in both a thrust of forward-moving, hard-charging and mammoth-sounding hardcore fury and a brooding flair. They hardly derive from the full-throttle Discharge school of d-beat, but Home oddly seems to evoke that type of feeling once in a while, much in the same way defunct Syracuse monsters No Idols conducted their sole full-length, Low (Swing the Pyramid Hands). The band's lack of speed is more a quality of restraint and less a fault, though -- check the mid-tempo groove of "The Madman," which comes off more like a recent Converge composition than Tragedy track.

That aforementioned restraint plays into Home nicely. At one point, "Exploding Inevitable" becomes a harrowing swath of cawing guitars that calls to mind Isis or Red Sparowes, with the former bearing comparisons when a melodic mutter of a vocal from Brian Frenette takes a surprising lead in the next track, the nine-minute "Invisible." However, he switches it up with the more familiar caterwaul scream and it somehow works; the song also features a section where there's some creepy revolutionary, shouted/spoken word that makes you think TATC dig on Frodus quite a bit.

The rest of Home mixes and matches styles quite like so. Home disappointingly isn't like your own home; it doesn't have the same familiar surroundings you can recall on a dime. But when you're in it, the walls concave and convex in mind-numbing ways that make for a caustic and suffocating atmosphere.

Home, at the band's profile page