From A Second Story Window
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From A Second Story Window

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Sep
03
From A Second Story Window @ masonic temple

Toledo, Ohio, USA

Toledo, Ohio, USA

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


You can only go so far with the basic hardcore template. It's not surprising, then, that the most successful groups to emerge from that scene in recent years -- Converge, Between the Buried and Me and Isis spring readily to mind -- have changed the rules by which their game is played. Progressive-hardcore has lost its negative connotations, and new contenders have emerged to claim their share of the market. Pennsylvania-bred quintet From a Second Story Window were spawned in the same fertile swamp as Neurosis and Opeth, but their brutishly beautiful take on hardcore makes even those luminaries appear stagnant. Not One Word has been Omitted is merciless in its bastardization of hardcore tradition for its own vile purposes; guitars that swoon and slay, and necrotic keyboard flourishes collide with frenzied double-bass pummeling and screams pitched so low you can hear Sean Vandergrift scraping fresh soil off his larynx. The titanic "Vespers" spews vitriolic fury with every forced breath, and gnarled opener "The Challenge of Caring" is an apocalyptic fairy tale populated with repugnant figures and seething with blind hatred.
FASSW haven't completely reinvented the genre (yet), but it's a pleasure to watch them tear the head off of hardcore tradition and feast on its bloated remains.
- Splendidezine.com


Picture the most beautiful and sweet woman in the world. This woman is not only physically attractive but the most genuine, intelligent and caring woman ever; strong and certain of herself. Then it happens, she gets into a horrific car accident, melting her face. She remains sweet, knowing it was an accident, yet bitter at her misfortune. She is still beautiful of form, yet horribly disfigured to the passing eye. Underneath it all she’s still the same beautiful person, you just have to look for it. That is the essence of From A Second Story Window’s debut EP on Black Market Activities Not One Word Has Been Omitted.

I bought this CD a few months ago and decided to give it a few months before reviewing it to see if the record has staying power. It does. The insane beginning of “The Challenge Of Caring” still grabs me by the balls, and squeezes real hard. Sean Vandergrift’s dual vocal style is outstanding, alternating between anguished screams, somewhat like Dan Weyandt of ZAO, and deep throaty death metal growls. Derek Vasconi and Rob Hileman’s dueling guitars thrash and shred their way through the backbone of this album. Joe Sudrovic’s bass playing adds another world of depth, filling out the guitar sounds, while occasionally taking the spotlight. All these elements are placed over Nick Huffman’s spastic hardcore by way of grindcore drumming.

“I Tried Voodoo Once” has one of the most intense vocal moments ever recorded when the music falls away and all you hear is Sean deathly growling “I will never be free of your hex.” This leads into a massive breakdown. The song builds back up and, surprise, adds a layer of beauty. That’s the formula for Not One Word Has Been Omitted. Intensity dissonantly meets beauty. The night cap of the album “Vespers” is one of, if not the best, epic hardcore song I’ve ever heard, clocking in just shy of 9 minutes.

Go to Thesaurus.com and type in the words intense, beautiful and epic; then collect all those synonyms together. Basically all those words and any more that can be found are still not enough to accurately portray Not One Word Has Been Omitted. There will inevitably be one word omitted, and that will be a shame.
[Tom Williams]

- http://www.digitalmetal.com


With so many twisted variations of tech/grind/hardcore popping up all over the world, blossoming artists have a huge musical canvas to play with. Some bands find a "core" to adopt and build off of, while other bands adopt several "cores" and use the resulting dynamics and interplay as their selling point. Then, there are bands that throw everything you know about extreme music into a blender and produce something completely demented and different. Bands like Between The Buried And Me, The Red Chord, and Psycroptic champion this notion of total musical distortion/perversion for the sake of innovation. And now, the time has come for From A Second Story Window.

While this album may only have 5 tracks, by the time you're done with it you'll feel like you've experienced an opus. There are traces of grind, tech, ambience, death, hardcore, and noise all over "Not One Word Has Been Omitted", but I particularly like how they focus their songs on destructive grooves and dense guitar insanity, as opposed to long ambient passages and pointless discordance without a solid, bludgeoning foundation of guitar chugs. If you're a fan of non-linear song writing and total spontenaity, you will love every note of this album.

The vocals are vicious, ranging from high-end screams a-la-Zao to gutteral death metal growls. Like the rest of the music, the vocals are extremely spontaneous, schizophrenic, and employ plenty of layering. The guitars are equally killer; riffs draw inspiration from The Red Chord, Zao, Converge, Between The Buried And Me, and so many more. There's always a measure of discordance behind all the riffs, giving the music an added dimension of melody and noise density. The drumming is extremely ambitious and insanely varied; imagine the drumming on Between The Buried And Me's "Silent Circus" with more offtime hooks and additional grind spontenaity.

Above all else, I love how they treat the extreme as a form of art, and throw in quirky interjections and spontenaity to paint a truly animated landscape. At times the rhythm guitars pick up on the underlying melody, meshing the core beat with guitar melody leads, much as Between The Buried And Me do so well.

From A Second Story Window have recorded a viciously progressive and powerful opus that is a precursor to something great. Repeated listens have only made this album grow on me, and the constantly varied mix of brutality and subtle melody has given my mind plenty to chew on. In the spirit of the many fine releases that Blackmarket Activies has put out recently, "Not One Word Has Been Omitted" is complex, entirely unique, and ultimately explores a new musical extreme. Fans of tech, post metalcore", grind, hardcore, and anything heavy and progressive will go nuts over this album.

smathers.
- http://www.uraniummusic.com


Discography

"Not One Word Has Been Omitted"
Black Market Activities, 2004

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

To whom it may concern:
We are not sure where to begin regarding this exciting trip. i suppose we should start at the beginning.....its been 4 years and many changes but we have finally attained our goal of finding a musical voice and utilizing it to create noise. The five of us met through the usual routes of member changes and chance encounters in malls and shows. Months later, playing many local shows and doing several weekend long tours while going to school turned out to be difficult but fun. Also, We weren't quite sure how to take those first steps but when we did, it was a glimmer of what we sound like today. It sounds cliche but somewhere out of our lives together a passion was born for extremism and pushing ourselves to a very violent edge. Kids at shows say we resemble manic, chaotic bands of the past....and our live show is very spontaneous as well. We all tend to agree.
Being that some of us are from Ohio and PA, we call our place of existence "ohio-vania." We live right on the border of the aforementioned states...and there is nothing here. The towns we inhabit are hollowed out, old-steel mill towns long since forgotten. I think everyone in our band is so completely tired of living in such dreary establishments. Likewise, with nothing to do ever we listen to everything the underground scene has to offer and are pretty much tired of hearing the same boring, predictable songs over and over again....the only change being a different band playing the same breakdown or fast, hardcore part. With us, it's always been one basic idea. Simply put, we are trying to create music for attention-deficit people. Juxtaposed to this is our message of loneliness, isolation, forgetting about this world and dreaming of the next one. Perhaps you will connect to these worn themes that still seem relevant enough to discuss in this age of psychological oppression. Even if you don't, we hope our songs can be background music for your late 4 am moments, your long drives with friends on a friday night, or even just an escape after fights with parents or peers.

From our hearts to yours,
from a second story window