so am i practicing so am i at the Chees and Grain Lisa Lee Rob Dan

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So am i playing "The Search"
live at Riffstock 2011

Sampler review by Green Man Music

Whilst being open to most forms of rock music, some of the extremes of the genre are well off of my radar these days. I have never really got the whole screamo thing, the more extreme forms of metal or intense hardcore but then again neither are you going to find me embracing what the Americans would term Adult Contemporary Rock. If I found a foreigner album in my record collection I would be straight on the phone to Rentokil.

Thankfully So Am I pitch themselves slap bang in the middle of this comfort zone and for that I am very grateful. The two songs on this sampler CD that I was given at a recent show gives you everything you need to know about the band. Theirs is a rich and atmospheric rock, slightly reminiscent of the dark melodies of Lacuna Coil but often imbued with aggressive riffs that tips its hat towards a more metal sound.

Ulterior illustrates this more boisterous side neatly enough, displaying more hooks than a J M Barrie theme party but tempered with falling dynamics, soaring reprise and a keen eye for the accessibility of their songs. The Search is built more on haunting vocals with the guitars happy to sit further back in the song until they spring into action for a slow burning, spiralling crescendo.

Despite all the fancy, fret board antics from both guitar and bass, these never try to hijack the songs; it's nice that in a genre often build on showy acts of musical skill, ego's seem confidently reined in here. The music stays very much in the mid tempo, trading urgency for atmosphere, which combined with Lisa Catlings' dark, soulful voice evokeing twilight shadows and a sense of Stygian doom; gothic romanticism for the 21st century perhaps? In fact gothic is the right word, but put from your mind the spiky, sci-fi looking sub-metallers who have subverted the image to their own ends and think of something more windswept and sensuous. Put it this way, I'm pretty sure that if Lord Byron were alive today, he would be their tour manager.

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