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Track By Track Review: ‘Coup de Grâce’ by SeeYouSpaceCowboy

San Diego based band SeeYouSpaceCowboy released Coup de Grâce on April 19. This new record holds the same line as their previous albums and additionally brings a different approach to the lyrics.

Composed of 12 songs, Coup de Grâce unfolds a fictional story created by the lead singer. Sgarbossa explains how the record started as a visual idea, however, “when it came to the lyrics, I didn’t know what the f*ck to write first.” The main inspiration behind it comes from noir-neo-noir, pulp comics and novels from the ‘40s and ‘50s. This consolidates the record lyrically and thematically, in which each song is a different tale of the imaginary city.

Photo by Errick Easterday

Allow Us to Set the Scene (ft. iRis.EXE)

The opening track is a sophisticated and interesting chaos that, for a minute, takes you back in time to a vintage place. The first few seconds iRis. EXE does a remarkable jazz representation capturing the attention of the listener and as the title suggests, “setting the scene.” The smooth ballad alongside the vocals lay this intriguing scenario that rapidly turns into a hardcore melody that we all know so well from this band. They take off with a good start and live up to their name.

Subtle Whispers To Take Your Breath

A sharp and likeable guitar riff –that feels like an indie-rock song– introduces the second track. This song has a progression that makes it digestible to all kinds of audiences. The traces of 2000’s scene tunes permeate throughout the melody. The flashing screams adapt well to the dramatic but catchy chorus. It is the mixture between emo, combined with pop-punk and tints of hardcore every now and then that makes this track so emotional and friendly to all kinds of listeners, as hardcore genres are not so easy to listen to.

And the Two Slipped into The Shadows

The rush of fuzzy guitars and exasperated drumbeats characterize this song. It is dramatic and versatile. The sudden change in vocals and tempos of the instruments, makes you feel in a rollercoaster of emotions. It preserves a rhythm in common though. The final guitar riff and beats make an astonishing exit. This song feels as if it was featured in Guitar Hero on a hard level.

Red Wine and Discontent

Following up the same musical structure as the previous song, this track brings a bit more screamo essence. The repetition of the song’s title, plus the multiple beat breakdowns and the lyrics to complement, makes a narrative of someone fighting against. Also, it has another reluctant close to the song, giving it a unique feature.

Lubricant Like Kerosene (ft. Kim Dracula)

Once again, a surprising intro greets the audience. An alternative rock guitar progression with subtle tints of disco accompanies a robotic-like vocals. This song has Kim Dracula’s collaboration, which it shows for the snappy and metal melody. It is a balanced tune, which means, enough screamo, enough metalcore and nostalgia. It personally feels like a perfect match for a metal collaboration. It is fun, chaotic, intense, and keeps the vibe from both artists.

Respite For A Tragic Tale (ft. iRis. EXE)

Just like the name says, a short intermission and continuation of the track before is perfectly executed with a melodic and appealing voice from iRis.EXE. Keeping the jazz and gloominess from the start, this just under 2 minute track gives you a break from violence. It is truly remarkable the irony of sounds that the band achieved. “The calm comes before the storm” made an album.

Silhouettes In Motion

The sharp guitar, brooding bases and aggressive vocals interventions make of this song a heavy metal and hardcore punk tune. The irregular time signatures and harshness play along well with the album theme that has been laid so far on the record.

To The Dance Floor For Shelter (ft. Courtney LaPlante)

An unsettling aura plays first to rapidly change into a steady bit. It is sensed the My Chemical Romance inspiration somewhere in the melody. There is something in the guitar’s musical structure and the chorus that recall The Black Parade. However, the song is clearly impregnated by both LaPlante and the band’s nature. According to the lead singer, this track is a metaphor for the world being fucked up and how in the hardcore world in particular the salvation is going to shows.

Rhythm and Rapture (ft. nothing,nowhere.)

This track is a catchy punk song as far as it could be. The amount of aggressiveness is enough to complement nothing,nowhere. feature. It has good musical fall downs and some changes in tempo that make it “easy” to listen to in framework of the metal music tunes. The way the chorus was made is probably what tells the audience that nothing,nowhere. was part of this.

Sister With A Gun

The fast and steady bit accompanied by alternative rock vocals plus, of course, screams make an outstanding track, considering there is a balance presence of both, violent and stable and well harmonized voices. And clearly, one of the band’s more singable choruses from the record.

Chewing The Scenery

It feels like the violence and severity of sounds prevail on this track too, which is an exceptional trait for an album. The chorus is the counterweight of the other verses in the song. From a settling mood, it goes to a chaotic and so on, nevertheless, the last minute of the tune unfolds heavy drumbeats and fuzzy guitars to close the song.

Curtain Call

The last song of the record is introduced by low pitch and serene vocals and a narrow guitar melody. It is an emotional and draining ending. Or that is what the first two minutes make it sound like. A sudden verse of screams chimes into the song and gives it the so distinctive trait of the bands theme and essence. Some finals musical notes coming from a piano mark the end of this deep story.

Overall, Coup de Grâce took a considerable risk by implementing new elements and sounds in their songs. Undoubtedly, it was an ambitious piece of work that implement a consistent and well performed collaborations. For the people that are not big fans of heavy metal and hardcore sub-genres, probably this album might open the path to future likes. “I hope,” Sgarbossa says, “they see the creativity and the risk we’ve taken by embedding Cowboy with more weirdo outside influences that you usually wouldn’t see form a band like us. I hope they appreciate the weirdness of it.”

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