Poetry in venomous motion; sittingthesummerout look to construct a name for themselves.
From the off, sittingthesummerout exude unorthodox. The uniquely presented name of this band immediately serves to set them apart from the pack – in a press release, vocalist Samir Batista stated that the name “cemented the fact that summer, as a season, wasn’t meant for (him)”. Hailing from Milan, I’m sure that Batista’s dissent with summer is a rather unpopular opinion – not that it should bother them, it just furthers to the long list of unconventional aspects of this band. Batista has also spoken of the recent struggles that this quintet has undergone with the past two years seeming to restrict their ability to write and perform in a free manner, thankfully, Brick and Mortar sees this “limbo” break, and the fruits of the outfit’s labour can finally be actualized.
The record begins with Nothing Changes in Baltimore. We are greeted with a delicate guitar melody that is laced with reverb and natural harmonics. Then, a bass slide eases us into the first verse. As is the case with most artists (for better or for worse) the vocals will be the make or break of the overall sound of the band, and their introduction will most likely determine whether the listener continues to pursue their music. Personally, I was enthused when I heard Batista’s gruff spoken word musings because I had honestly geared myself up for another generic pop-punk/emo outfit. The chorus is slightly less divisive as we are launched into a sound akin to the likes of Title Fight, La Dispute and Citizen to name a few. However, this track truly comes to life with the inclusion of a brutal pre-chorus that follows the second verse – aggression fuels the spiteful screams and will catch even the most attentive of listeners by pleasant surprise.
It Won’t Rain Forever follows in a similar mould to its predecessor: spoken word, respite from the chorus and a heavier post-chorus. It’s a solid track and will certainly do a good job in continuing to accustom the audience to their sound. We quickly stumble into Permanence and I’m a big fan of this track – there are enough peaks and troughs in the dynamics to truly encompass these notions of individuality that sittingthesummerout so proficiently promote. A poised verse maintains the spoken word elements, however, the most refreshing element here is the simple repetition of the lyrics “please don’t write about me…”. It is through these lyrics that we have a new-found connection with the music – the ability to actually sing along instead of submitting to the high frequency of lyrics that carry throughout the remainder of this EP.
The topic of lyrics here is a difficult one. There are themes of “the nostalgia of our youth” and “running away” in the first two tracks alone, both of which seem to be rather generic in terms of subjects to explore in this sub-genre of emo music. Thankfully, there is enough variation and originality throughout to prevent the lyrical content on offer from growing stale. On the other hand, there is a definite argument that the paragraphs upon paragraphs of spoken word could fall victim to becoming convoluted – it’s an entirely subjective matter (as is so often the case in the discussion of music), however, it would be a massive shame if listeners started to become alienated as a result of the fact that they simply can’t relate or connect with the lyrical content due a combination of the spoken word and the lack of ‘catchiness’ for lack of a better term.
Dry, Dry June is the shortest track on the EP and the sound of an engine turning over initially made me think that I was listening to a dodgy Spotify ad. Essentially an interlude, this song does an excellent job in carrying us through to the record’s closer – To Those Concerned. More of the same really, a killer chorus is pivotal to the overall quality of the song because without it one could certainly argue that the verses here are amongst the weaker on offer. Honestly, after listening to this EP through at least 15 times, by the time I get to the final track I become thirsty for some variance. Whilst incredibly unique as standalone tracks, after listening in quick succession it can potentially become tiresome which, at this stage in their career, isn’t too much of a problem – particularly when the band are still finding their feet as musicians.
In short, sittingthesummerout are an exemplary celebration of originality. It’s early days for them and there is certainly room to grow, however, Brick and Mortar is a fantastic start and the guys should be tremendously proud of what they’ve produced after a testing couple of years. I’ll be keeping my eye on this band and I strongly recommend that you check them out too – they truly are a breath of fresh air in such a saturated market.