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Portland, Oregon, United States | SELF

Portland, Oregon, United States | SELF
Band Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Symmetry/Symmetry's Have Cake Experiments but Doesn't Overindulge"

Artist: Symmetry/Symmetry
Album: Have Cake
Label: Self-Released
Release date: August 16
Rating (Skip, Stream, or Buy): Buy
Local show: August 22 at the High Dive with Brier Rose and Kids and Animals. The show starts at 8 p.m. and costs $6.
Have Cake is anything but a rich, moist piece of sugar-frosted fluff. It's got at least as much weird as the band's home base of Portland takes pride in. But Symmetry/Symmetry doesn't go weird without good reason, and Have Cake is a refreshing melodic experiment in an age of so much noisy, overindulgent rock.

At its roots, it's soaring '90s Britpop. If Radiohead comparisons are allowed, then they're inevitable. Twisting melodies and anxious piano lines build the core, and even the twitchiest of drumming won't take away from that. But despite their melodies and hooks, none of these songs really make good singles. The tracks succeed more as a package (the band will even be playing the album straight-through for their release show), and without context, the howling, Muse-esque "apocalypse lite" of songs like "We Are Not Who We Say We Are" feels a little trite. But the best songs use experimentation in a way that flips the audience's expectations on its head, and that Symmetry/Symmetry does--whether it's an unexpected breakdown or the way the first verse of "Have Cake/Eat It Too" sounds more like a bridge.

Good experimentation plays games with the audiences, rather than just giving in to the band's own attention-deficit musical curiosities. Where so many new bands have taken to hyper-production and sleeping around with as many genres as they can, Symmetry/Symmetry knows where their sound is centered and keeps the games to their rhythms and writing. - Seattle Weekly

"Northwest CD: Epic ambitions with Symmetry/Symmetry"

The success -- both critically and commercially -- of bands like Radiohead and Death Cab for Cutie means that many a young band are unwilling to simply pound out three power chords over which they opine about girls.

Instead, we get an overwhelming number of groups swinging for the fences creatively, with songs that are sonically and thematically ambitious. What we lose in the form of simple, danceable rock we gain tenfold with groups like Symmetry/Symmetry and their epic visions of spirits on the verge.

This trio's debut full-length "Have Cake" is as bold an opening salvo as we have heard thus far this year by a local outfit. On it, the band builds every song slowly, starting with a wandering guitar line, a softhearted bit of piano or a bit of electronic ornamentation. From there, layers of rhythm and melody creep in, creating something akin to crème brulée: music with a hard, easily punctured art rock crust that reveals the gooey heart of a pop band underneath.

Northwest CD: Have Cake
Artist: Symmetry/Symmetry
Grade: B+
Label: Self-released
Coming up: 9 p.m. Sunday, Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St., 503-231-9663; $5,; also appearing: Tango Alpha Tango, Water & Bodies
Matters of the heart do form the center of frontman Joel Uram's lyrics. But he's more concerned with damage we can do to ourselves instead of one another. Even a track with the otherwise romantic title "Wedding Song" lays bare a litany of internal complaint: "Nobody's happy with who I really am/I'm sorry if I don't seem more enthused to change." On "Drugs Are Quick," Uram takes on the guise of a self-pitying addict who "used to be somebody different ... used to be someone I knew." Combined with the song's zipping bits of noise and terrifying electronic voices matching the chorus, the effect is devastating.

"Have Cake" suffers only from perhaps too much ambition. The album wouldn't have been hurt by trimming off a few of the fattier numbers on it, as well as a bit of a pruning around the edges of some overgrown ideas. The songs that hit, though, hit hard and will leave you positively reeling.

-- Robert Ham - The Oregonian


"Love Breaks Light" EP Released 2009
"Have Cake" LP Released 2010
"Christmas/Christmas" Released 2010



An amalgamate of local virtuous, independently reputed musicians in their own right, symmetry/symmetry stands unified as a dynamic collaborative. Forged in 2006 by the collective visions of Daniel Jones and Joel Uram, symmetry/symmetry found its beginnings in Portland, Oregon. Later joined by the sensationally gifted drummer, Andrew Quackenbush, the band discovered its unique cadence and released an EP titled “Love Breaks Light.” The album garnered local accolades, spurring their efforts forward. In January of 2010 savvy bassist, Mark Cleaver, joined their ranks deepening the tonal diversity available to them. The band toured venues in Portland gradually etching out a fresh, robust, bombastic soundscape uniquely their own. Cultivating a diversified yet unified tone, they’ve delighted crowds in their melodic wake.

In August of 2010, symmetry/symmetry reached bold new heights by debuting the album "Have Cake." Cultivating introspective lyrics, ascending melodies, and a tasteful juxtaposition of rich vocals and crisp, fearlessly executed instrumentation, they fiercely stretch beyond the cliche of mere angst-driven rock. With unabrasive clarity, their songs entreat the listener to abstain from mediocrity of thought and reject the atrification of emotion.Subsequent to the album's release, they toured fifteen stops along the west coast as they bravely conveyed this underlying message of percolating optimism in the midst of hopeless circumstance.

The band’s intense bond with one another is evident in an effortless synergy that inevitably results in the ravishing harmonies and sheer rhapsody they induce. With a penchant for the unanticipated, symmetry/symmetry leverages dramatically synchronized pauses followed by the occasional chinese-fire-drill instrumental and lively antics, each enthralling to the listener. Consistently piercing new musical terrain, symmetry/symmetry openly experiments onstage, skillfully blending raw electronica with fiercely harmonious ballads and a frenetic physical presence. Irrespective of venue or demographic, symmetry/symmetry invites every audience member to let down their guard and revel with the band in their contagious and unabated whimsy.