Memorial - The Creative Process / Berlin [12 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


The Creative Process / Berlin [12 inch] (2008)


The Creative Process / Berlin was originally two 7"s scheduled to be released by Revelation Records before that label ran into some problems. It would've been an ideal fit, too -- the sprawling music of Memorial is in line with the post-hardcore heavyweights that worked with Revelation in its heyday: bands like Texas Is the Reason and Quicksand, among others. Alas, FlightPlan Records picked up the slack and gave us these two releases on one 12" record, and we should be thankful they did.

A deep groove serves as the foundation of opening track "Who Are We to Say?", a track that's loud, clear and soaring. Vocalist Pete Appleby (formerly of Count Me Out and Renee Heartfelt) displays a succinct, passionate delivery while huge guitars and pounding drums resonate behind him with calculated brute force. "Sideways" showcases the band's willingly jagged sound, especially in the song's first few bars. The driving nature of the rest of the song is almost Hot Water Music-esque, helped along by Appleby's surprisingly vulnerable performance.

"Spades" in an interesting track -- the first half of the song is full of infectious grooves, much like the aforementioned "Who Are We to Say?" but the song stops rather abruptly halfway through before quietly resuming and building up to an urgent, rocking payoff. The few seconds of silence will certainly make some listeners go 'hmm' when initially heard, but the change-up works to the song's advantage. The quiet intro and rolling drums of "The Creative Process" set up the huge, sweeping choruses, and Appleby's howl throughout the song is convincing without being jarring.

The Berlin half of the record kicks off with the titular title track, a sub-two-minute jaunt heavy on crashing drums and screeching, dissonant guitars. A wall of feedback segues into "1933," a longer song reliant on a barrage of huge, heavy riffs with noodling liberally sprinkled throughout.

Memorial switch things up a bit on "Beneath," with an acoustic intro accompanied by a more subdued vocal performance from Appleby. A mid-tempo base kicks in soon after, carried by some busy, borderline electronic-sounding drumming. The song then crescendos into a full-on, electric boogaloo of guitars that soar majestically like a eagle of rock.

Atmospheric tones bring in the closing track, "Munich," before an epic collection of riffs descend upon the speakers and continue to hit progressively harder as the song goes on, coming to a head as the song ends with an impassioned bout of pounding drums and the aforementioned riffs, closing the book on an extremely impressive debut from Memorial, one that will hopefully serve as a reminder of how fucking good this genre of music once was and can still be.