Thursday, 27 December 2018

LESSENER

BandLESSENER formerly Districts
GenresPunk / Hardcore / Post-Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Skramz
Related artistsKen Burns, Who Goes There?, Districts, Det Ar Darfor Vi Bygger Stader, The Saddest Landscape and Reveries.
CountryBoston, Massachussetts U.S.A.
Years Active2010-present
Song: "Shape of Heart, Shape of Human"
Album: "Lessener"
Year: 2017
For fans ofReveries, D'Amore, Ken Burns, Chalk Hands, Massa Nera, Daïtro, Coma Regalia, Funeral Diner, ...Who Calls So Loud, Elle, L'Antietam, Logs, Suis La Lune, Ecorche, Burial Etiquette, Bright Calm Blue, Congratulations, Emma Goldman and Young Mountain aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Self Released / Zegema Beach Records / Ancient Injury Records / The Ghost Is Clear Records / Galt House Records / Endnote Records / Miss The Stars / Dingleberry Records
This post's artist is from the December 2018 Mix. This is track #6.
You can download: the December 2018 Mix#12 right here or get the new January 2019 Mix#12 here.

LESSENER began as DISTRICTS but changed their name in 2016 after adding vocalist Mike Van Buren. Over their tenure they have released a five-song demo, a split 12", a 12"EP and contributed a song to the Jeromes Dream compilation. They have also toured parts of Europe and came up to Canada to play ZBR Fest 2017 at my request.

The first release is titled as (Demo) but I think of it as the debut EP, because it's very good and doesn't sound like a demo. It's called 'Revolt Freedom Passion' and marks the bands entry into the emo/screamo scene. Opener "Absurd Walls" is probably the strongest track, it sounds like LESSENER but less refined and a bit looser, although "Static" is another decent song that reminds me of a slightly sloppier Elle. The vocals may be done by Jake instead of Mike on this release, but the delivery is quite similar, although Mike has a bit of a thicker scream on the later material.

Two years later, in 2012, DISTRICTS released a 'split 12" with Regret, The Informer' which housed four new jams with much better recording quality and a much more confident sound. Opener "Disappearing Act" makes this obvious right from the get-go, sounding like the sibling of Coma Regalia until about 45 seconds when it jumps ship to the even more melodic-yet-driving Funeral Diner. "The Giver" sounds a heck of a lot like the material on their 2017 'Lessener' EP, so that means it sounds like it was written about 10-15 years ago (that's a compliment, by the way). I would go as far as to say that "Devils" is more of a post-hardcore tune than screamo, as it spends the first half subtly climbing to the second half's swelling climax, but in the end the genre categorization is irrelevant cuz it's a very enveloping jam. Closer "Better Places Than Here" clocks in at 5:27, making it the longest DISTRICTS/LESSENER track released thus far. It's a great tune with a bit of spoken word, an ambient outro and it follows the band's lyrical trajectory with a substantial amount of reflection, guilt and self-correction. If you like this split I would strongly recommend checking out Jake's newest band Reveries as this track sounds a lot like their 2017 record 'Reveries'.

Before the band released their first record with their new lineup in 2017, LESSENER contributed a song to the Jeromes Dream tribute compilation with an excellent cover of "A Well Documented Case of Severe Autism". I love how this cover pays homage to the original whilst simultaneously sounding like LESSENER. The vocals aren't pushed to the point of passing out and there is added instrumentation during the chill, instrumental outro. I wish more bands did this when doing covers and not just attempting to recreate the original.

I am aware that it took almost five years from their 'Regret, The Informer split' to the 'Lessener' 12"EP, but holy shit it was worth it. The self titled record is just the tops, and it takes all of the things that DISTRICTS were doing and hones them to the point of the Predator's two big-ass forearm blades. A Predator reference? Sure, why the fuck not? Both that first movie and this first LESSENER release kick major ass. Opener "Shape of Heart, Shape of Human" does the best of of it, too, with so many sick parts that you might have to see a doctor. A short feedback loop leads into wonderfully dueling guitars and Mike's harsh scream, but the syncopated breakdown from 40 seconds to a minute is amazing, and even better live with both guitarists and the vocalist screaming at the same time. "We've Lost Beauty" is next and much like the opener is a shorter song at only 1:42. The transition at 28 seconds reminds me of Ken Burns (Mike's old band) and the climax at 50 seconds is wonderful and perhaps more in the Kidcrash realm. "Our Form of Closure" is more than double the length of the first two songs put together but manages to expertly manage the voyage, incorporating an eerie, engaging guitar intro, some stormy post-hardcore parts, a jazzy center and more than a few chaotic screamo sections. You can also watch this sucker live at ZBR Fest here. "Gravesend" goes for the jugular right from the get-go with raging instrumentals and dual screaming, coming in at twice the speed of any DISTRICTS song, while closer "Sycamore" is more brooding, lending itself to a track three comparison, albeit much shorter.

In celebration of getting Zegema Beach Records' copies of the LESSENER 'Lessener' 12"EP, I thought I'd throw them up on sale for a few weeks as most of the other labels have had copies for months. They are $10CAD right now (that's about $7US) so jump on that before the run of 250 is gone! I should also mention that the band has two more songs recorded for a split, but I haven't seen much activity from the band in the last six months. I'm hoping they will still get released cuz they are great. And the other band is noteworthyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy! Lastly, there is a Reveries interview and album review coming up next month!

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DISCOGRAPHY

2010 - Revolt Freedom Passion (Demo) digitalEP (stream/download here)

2012 - Regret, The Informer split 12"EP (stream/donate/download here)

2017 - Tour cdEP (2 cut from the EP and 2 live songs)
2017 - It's More Like an Homage to You Jeromes Dream tribute cassetteLP compilation (contributed "A Well Documented Case Of Severe Autism") (stream/donate/download here) [buy from ZBR here]
2017 - Lessener 12"EP (stream/donate/download here) [buy from ZBR here]

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(2017) LESSENER - "Shape of Heart, Shape of Human" (from 'Lessener')

(2017) LESSENER - "Our Form of Closure" (from 'Lessener')

(2017) LESSENER - "A Well Documented Case Of Severe Autism" (from 'It's More Like an Homage to You' comp)

(2017) LESSENER - "Shape of Heart, Shape of Human" live @ZBR Fest 2017

(2012) DISTRICTS - "Disappearing Act" (from 'Regret, The Informer' split)

(2012) DISTRICTS - "Better Places Than Here" (from 'Regret, The Informer' split)

(2010) DISTRICTS - "Absurd Walls" (from 'Revolt Freedom Passion')

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LESSENER additional links
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