Album review: SeeYouSpaceCowboy – The Romance Of Affliction

San Diego sasscore outfit SeeYouSpaceCowboy provide cathartic thrills on second album The Romance Of Affliction…

Album review: SeeYouSpaceCowboy – The Romance Of Affliction
Olly Thomas

Diving headlong into this rather wonderful second full-length from SeeYouSpaceCowboy is a dizzying experience. Crushing riffs and hectic mathcore dynamics are likely to be the first things that strike you. Unless, that is, you peruse the tracklist and note convoluted titles like Melodrama Between Two Entirely Bored Individuals or Life As A Soap Opera Plot, 26 Years Running.

With this suggestion of a stylistic callback to ‘00s emo, you might be more prepared for the sugar-rush choruses that somehow bubble up amidst the sonic carnage. Some tunes on The Romance Of Affliction bring to mind the classic video for Walk This Way, only with The Dillinger Escape Plan and Fall Out Boy replacing Aerosmith and Run-D.M.C.

There might be a sense of sassy irreverence in this collision of technical brutality and asymmetrically-fringed melody, but in other ways SeeYouSpaceCowboy are an entirely serious proposition. The lyrics of this album delve deeply into self-destructive reactions to existential torment, a theme summed up in the song title Anything To Take Me Anywhere But Here. Horrifically, singer Connie Sgarbossa nearly died from an overdose shortly after recording finished; you might see this as a validation of the honesty of her words if the frequent savagery of her performance didn’t already bleed catharsis directly into your ears.

This exceptionally affecting and musically riotous album boasts guest spots from Every Time I Die’s Keith Buckley and Underøath’s Aaron Gillespie, and production from Knocked Loose guitarist Isaac Hale. These heavyweight endorsements tell part of the story, but the ability to pack sweet thrills and utter desolation into the same record is all SeeYouSpaceCowboy’s work.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: The Fall Of Troy, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Every Time I Die

The Romance Of Affliction is released on November 5 via Pure Noise

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