Band: WE WERE SKELETONSGenres: Punk / Hardcore / Post-Rock / Post-Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Skramz
Related artists: Spill and Chalmers.
Country: Lancaster, Pennsylvania USA
Years Active: 2006-2013
Song: "Disease Artist"
Album: "Blame and Aging"
Label(s): Topshelf Records / Strabismus Tapes / Tall Cedar Tapes / Black With Sap / Chumpire / Square Of Opposition Records / I Heard You Hate Caskets
This post's artist is from the April 2015 Mix. This is track #2.
You can download: the June Mix#6 right here or get the new July 2015 Mix#7 here.
For fans of: Off Minor, Maths, Tipping Canoe, (old) Rye Coalition, Ampere, Loma Prieta, The Saddest Landscape, Forstella Ford, Fugazi, Shotmaker, The Usual, GRYSCL, People's Temple Project, Hugs, The Explosion, Secret Smoker, Wolverines, Ravin and Yage aka PROPER SCREAMO.
They band was a lively 3-piece that hailed from Pennsylvania in the USA and released quite a bit of material from 2007 until 2012. The dual vocals and jarring time signatures were a few key ingredients to the band's sound, which they refer to as Fugazi meets Shotmaker, but I would have to say they sound a whole hell of a lot like Off Minor, with less jazz and clean parts. The band's middle material was more in the Ampere and Loma Prieta spectrum while the final album lends itself more towards Off Minor with a heavy Fugazi shift.
WE WERE SKELETONS were around for more than six years but I didn't really hear about them being discussed online until 2012 when they were set to release "Blame and Aging". The band's early material is, simply put, more interesting. Don't get me wrong, I really like some songs from their final foray into post-hardcore/screamo territory but their early, more aggressive and straightforward approach to spastic, driving screamy hardcore was a damn near perfect recipe.
I'll quickly list my favourite tracks. Appearing first on the 'Ryan Oatman' cd/cassette from 2009 titled "Who Are All of These Children and Why Are They Calling Me Their Mother?" is amazing. From 1:30 it is easily the best part WE WERE SKELETONS ever wrote. The cities and skyline vocals mix with the dreamy, midwestern clean screamo riffs to create a breathtaking section of the track. "Moleman Punched a Cop" originally appeared on the band's 4-way split with Florence & Libby, Kids and Paxton and is a stellar song. The grooving, GRYSCL meets People's Temple Project intro is a thing of beauty. The start-stop nature of the screamier and more chaotic parts helps balance this song perfectly. "Wolves" doesn't even make it to the one minute mark but holy hell it packs a wallop and isn't too far from sounding like "Drawn From the Houses I've Burnt" which in turn kinda sounds like Ampere, 'Descent'-era Maths and reminds me of early Loma Prieta. "Disease Artist" is similar to "Moleman Punched a Cop" but accentuates the brief lulls and has created their most complete song. "Slow Death" is very Fugazi sounding that really reaches a sexy climax at 1:38. The band also did a pretty decent cover of Refused's "Summerholiday vs. Punk Routine" which just happened to be the first or second song I ever heard by that seminal Swedish outfit.
So yeah, good is good. In fact, they are amazing. But considering the band's discography these are the only ones I still jam. If they were more consistent (in the subjective Book of Dave) I would be much more ecstatic in the review (although I probably sounded pretty pumped, and rightfully so), but instead it's kind of like I Hate Myself, there are a handful of classics and a dusty box full of indifferent tracks.
2007 - Summers LP (stream/download here)
2009 - Ryan Oatman cd/cassetteEP (download here)
2010 - We Were Skeletons cd/12"LP (stream/buy here)
2011 - мища split 7"EP (stream/buy here)
2011 - 4-Way split 12"LP (w/Florence & Libby, Kids and Paxton)
2011 - The Saddest Landscape split 7"EP (stream/buy here)
2011 - European Tour tapeLP (stream/buy here)
2012 - Blame and Aging cd/12"LP (stream/buy here)
(2012) WE WERE SKELETONS - "Disease Artist" (from 'Blaming and Aging')
(2012) WE WERE SKELETONS - "Slow Death" (from 'Blaming and Aging')
(2011) WE WERE SKELETONS - "Who Are All of These Children and Why Are They Calling Me Their Mother?" (from 'European Tour Tape')
(2010) WE WERE SKELETONS - "Kids" (from 'We Were Skeletons')
WE WERE SKELETONS Bandcamp link