A Best First Release Nominee in the 2005 Awards
An interesting element of this album is that several songs flow right into one another and there are segues in between most of the others. Also, for this CD, the two vocalists’ roles are as follows: Tae (commonly known as Ivory) Mobley basically screams and speaks, and frontman Josh Dies screams, yells, speaks, and— believe it or not— also sings, and very well, at that. The bandmembers are all talented musicians, allowing them to create really great music and some surprising style transitions within songs. And, of course, there are Josh’s amazing lyrics. All of this blends to form a (True) Screamo album that is actually truly musical, as well.
No Sir…‘s first track, in typical Showbread fashion, is entitled “A Llama Eats A Giraffe (And Vice Versa)”. And if the title wasn’t interesting enough for you, the track itself begins with a muted phone call. About 23 seconds into this, the real song suddenly kicks in loud and without warning, and from there the musical pace doesn’t slow down for a moment. Lyrically, it firmly declares the truth that nothing here lasts forever. This track is one of the screamiest on the disc, but it’s a good opener because it shows how they can layer catchy music underneath hardcore vocals.
Immediately following that is a segue, eliminating any pause between the first and second tracks. This particular one is short, featuring just background drums and percussion, and at the end the sound of a chainsaw.
Fan favorite “Dead By Dawn” follows, a track with music. Lyrically it is quite complex— Josh really cranks up the metaphor by using the premise of a horror movie series along with other metaphorical elements to craft a song that can have a variety of meanings, depending on the listener.
Second fan favorite “Mouth Like A Magazine” is next. This song contains fairly catchy music (especially the bass and guitars) and deftly features all four types of vocal.
“If You Like Me Check Yes, If You Don’t I’ll Die” seems to describe either a false relationship or the myriad of thoughts, questions, concerns, and insecurities that can sometimes accompany any relationship. It’s definitely the screamiest track of the album (i.e. almost nothing else); there is some great music behind that, though, especially during the chorus. Towards the end of the song the music changes to a cool rock tune, then it switches to a fast punk beat, and then back to its original style.
“Sampsa Meets Kafka” is a short, strange, sound-effect track with only one lyric line that is totally screamed (and heavily distorted— a bit over the top ).
“So Selfish It’s Funny” is another fan fave. As you can guess, this song rebukes selfishness; and it’s very catchy all around. It starts off energetic with the first three vocal types, then the music switches to a slower beat and the vocals to singing, then it slows down even more… and the singing/background screaming in this last section is very catchy as well. There is no pause between this track and the next.
“The Missing Wife” is one of only two songs on the album that contain no screaming at all. This particular one features muted vocals, and the only two instruments used are an also-muted acoustic guitar (played by Josh) and background sound effects provided by producer Sylvia Massy Shivy’s theremin. As for the lyrics, we’re not sure if this is an actual tribute to someone who really died or if it’s just a “what-if” generic tribute; but either way, it’s a nice breather before the rest of the album continues.
Next is a segue, an intriguing one that you have to use your imagination on; and it’s very suspenseful.
“Welcome To Plainfield Tobe Hooper” immediately gets back the energy with the typical vocal mix, a punk beat, and absolutely great guitars. It then flows right into the next track without pause.
“And The Smokers & Children Shall Be Cast Down” is a good example of the style changes that Showbread can make during a song. It starts off with cool, echoing, and almost creepy singing; then a few seconds of suspense-building music; and then back to the usual vocal mix. The music then speeds up for a while; then the beat slows a little but the vocal energy continually increases; then, there are a few moments of grace with awesome, beautiful lyrics and singing; and then it goes back to the regular mix to finish off the track. And this song’s lyrics cover almost as much ground, as well!
Another segue follows; the best explanation of which can be summed up in what they call it: “Insect Apocalypse”.
“Stabbing Art To Death” (featuring Reese Roper of Five Iron Frenzy) is another fan fave and another good style-changing example. In fact, it’s amazing how many changes this song goes through, and how smooth and natural those changes are. It begins with the regular vocal mix and a punk beat, and after a while it switches to singing and full punk (!). It switches back, and then it switches to a nearly indescribable, really cool rock tune with awesome guitars/etc. And again, the lyrics also cover a lot of ground.
“The Dissonance Of Discontent”‘s opening sound is similar to the other tracks (vocal mix, cool guitars); but towards the end it drifts into almost creepy vocals and an organ. After the singing stops, the organ continues on, the sounds of a thunderstorm also being mixed in; and then it all slowly fades away.
“Matthias Replaces Judas” (again featuring Reese Roper) is yet another fan fave. It’s the second of the two songs on this album that contain no screaming, and (as you probably expect by now ) it’s actually very different than the other one. This song is medium-paced and uses all of the band’s instruments, has vocals, and is catchy all around. The lyrics are absolutely beautiful, as well; and guest Reese Roper sings the entire last half, getting more and more intense as the song’s end draws near.
After this there is one last segue, featuring the sounds of an orchestra tuning up.
And the final track is “The Bell Jar”, a song with a really cool drumbeat, great guitars that become even better at the end, and lyrics stating that eventually, “…everything is dying, and we want something more”. And as the first track opened with a phone call, this track closes perfectly with a phone-off-the-hook tone.
This is a great first release, and we can’t wait to hear where Showbread takes their “Raw Rock” next!