What's with all the San Francisco reviews today? In 2002 my roommate at the time, Sean Andrews, packed up his van and moved there to enjoy the season-less 68 degree weather. Along with fellow east coast transplant, Josh Stein, he started a band out there called Takaru. They quickly made a lot of friends and proceeded to produce some of the most memorable hardcore I've heard to this day. This is the first record that Sean and Takaru made when he got out there. These songs still inspire me so I figured why not review it.
A Light in the Attic have a very over the top discordant sound which, at times will remind you of Reversal of Man meeting Ruheda with some possible influences of Washington DC post hardcore. What steals the show here is the drumming; it's a non-stop barrage of percussion madness that is so precise and accented that you may find yourself focusing on just that. The bass and guitar tones are very complimentary to the screamed vocals. They rip through these five songs without letting you breath with the exception of the small melodic detour at the end of the song "Even Plagues".
Takaru brings a bit of a heavier, darker sound to this split laced with political lyrics (topics ranging from body image to healthcare) and multiple vocals. Musically you get a broad spectrum that ranges from bands like Botch and Disembodied to more traditional straight forward fare. While this band rips through some aggressive hardcore with songs like "160 lbs of Fury" and "Torrential Reigns", they can also bring things to a more melodic and introspective place, which is exemplified in "1849 Revisited" . You can hear that young sound in that this is the first batch of songs the band wrote together. It screams with a rawness that is not so often captured on tape. Screeching guitars, double bass and intense vocals make these songs a perfect blend of heavy hardcore with a melodic sensibility. I miss this band dearly and will no doubt be writing a review for their other releases in the future.
Have a listen here