The Saddest Landscape - All Is Apologized For. All Is Forgiven [2xLP] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Saddest Landscape

All Is Apologized For. All Is Forgiven [2xLP] (2009)


Once-defunct and presently active again, the Saddest Landscape's complete discography is presented in double-vinyl form by CopterCrash. All Is Apologized For. All Is Forgiven packs 23 songs onto two 12" records (mine being a pretty translucent red on one and marble red on the other), giving a rather complete -- though not necessarily repeat-warranted -- picture of the New Jersey band.

The Saddest Landscape played -- well, play -- hardcore of the emotional kind, meaning we can call them screamo and have it be associated with the Neil Perry and Saetia kind (bands in close proximity for TSL, both musically and location-wise) -- not the others. A song like "The Seduction of Alabaster" opens with a grand gesture of sloppy string plunges and slapped percussion, but with a certain warmness and severity that makes it appealing, even when raw, incomprehensible yelps come in to intermingle with unsettling, vaguely wah-wah effect-etched guitar work.

Things are a little more dynamic on the songs that encompass their full-length, The Sound of the Spectacle. Flange-y guitars wilt beneath some tension, breaking up the impulsive but more clearer screams and Guy Picciotto-like shudders that make up "We Were Dancing an Hour Before We Met."

"...The Stars in January" definitely reaches some Billy Werner-like, uncomfortably piercing pitches. One of the most emotional collapses comes at the end of "A Statue of a Girl (May 15th)," where everything just seems to fall apart; "Weightless Is the New Black" comes pretty close to that, though, providing a medium level of cacophony that's engaging but not overpowering. "The Temptation That Is You" uses this mode of tension too, with a little more of a Texas Is the Reason-ish heavy jangle.

I'm not tooooo huge on the covers here. Their version of Rites of Spring's "Spring" isn't too bad -- maybe a little overly ragged and sloppy. I'm outright not feeling "Accident Prone," though; TSL's frail, fractured vocals seem too exasperated at some points and too sharp and staccato at others for the driving, cathartic opus that was Jawbreaker's original frame. There's almost too much intensity at points and it contrasts with the reserved, languid guitars too much.

I certainly wouldn't hail it for its repeat value, but All Is Forgiven seems to mostly provide a very complete and well-packaged portrait of a gem -- maybe not necessarily a diamond -- in the New Jersey rough.

The Fashion Magazines Have Succeeded
Enough to Stop a Heart
Wishlist for the Drowning
...The Stars in January
The Sixth Golden Ticket

[If you notice this review doesn't really go in the vinyl track listing's proper order, it's because I went by the digital copy, which shuffles it up a bit - Ed.]