Where The Skeletons Play – Serotonin Blueprints

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Review by Will Harris

Self-released

Given the enduring popularity of alt-metal groups such as Tool, Deftones and Nine Inch Nails, it’s surprising that more bands like Where The Skeletons Play don’t exist. It’s more than reasonable to suppose, however, that the reason they don’t is that those bands created such distinctive and inimitable music that it might seem easier to many to simply leave them to it. Undaunted by such a challenge, this Bristol-based studio-only two-piece resultantly stand out from the crowd with their second EP.

Following on largely from where their debut left off, singer Stich employs similar effects on his vocals (which range from anguished whispers to distortion-laden cries), and this hard-soft collection of pointed frustration, heavy riffs and layered ambient guitar feedback is an ably-performed exercise in progressive dynamics and carefully-released aggression. ‘Punctuate The Sky’, for instance, rocks gently like something off Thirteen Steps before exploding halfway into a post-rock furore, while ‘If We Just Pretend…’ reconfigures the quiet-loud technique with verses full of tension and a pleasingly cathartic yet merciful chorus.

Mellower tracks such as ‘…Your Innocence Exists’ and instrumental closer, ‘Serendipity’, don’t simply show WTSP’s breadth of repertoire, but also provide a sense of cohesion across the EP; indeed, perhaps the most promising thing about Serotonin Blueprints is that it demonstrates that WTSP share with their musical forebears (Tool, Explosions In The Sky, Godspeed You! Black Emperor) an acute understanding of the importance of a musical narrative across a record. With this is in mind, let’s pray for an album.

Where The Skeletons Play - Serotonin Blueprints 20138 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Perspex Queen
  2. Punctuate The Sky
  3. If We Just Pretend…
  4. …Your Innocence Exists
  5. Serotonin Blueprints
  6. Serendipity