I like The Red Chord. A whole lot. So do Long Island's Drowned Sorrow. On their first official EP Fittings at the Coffin Shop, Drowned Sorrow synthesize many of the same metal-, grind- and deathcore elements as THC, but the similarities run deeper than genre signifiers. Both bands respect their listeners enough to keep them pummeled, embodied and slightly off-kilter at all times. Groove is rarely absent from Fittings, and unexpected guitar leads, tempo changes and textures abound. Some songs could use more transitional finesse, but a song like "Deception Waves Hello" invalidates its songwriting seams through sheer burliness. This EP was written for the high-minded pit-o-phile, not the stay-at-home grindcore fan.
"Receiving Presents at a Funeral"
Drowned Sorrow's wildcard is Dan Roberts, a vocalist who never met a trebly tic he wasn't willing to indulge. Roberts has a hardcore bark that would make his NYHC scenesmates proud, an abrasive tenor scream, a weak death metal growl and the occasional mid-song spoken phrase (my favorite of his hardcore Barry White-isms: "Being damned is not an honor / Yet you bring the confetti"). He deploys all of them, always. The constant switching is impressive enough from a technical standpoint and sounds smoothly integrated. It's also more distracting than commanding. For a band whose sound already has so much going on, I don't need any distractions.