When screamo first became a genre worth following, it was wondrous and rife with emotional intensity coupled with angst that everyone could relate to. While it became more and more bastardized over time and started to for some reason, get intermingled with religion, it got less and less relevant. When we first heard Houston’s Overo, it was as if they’d never heard the “Hot Topic, we have compilations by Epitaph” version of screamo. Like the band heard Heroin or Antioch Arrow and then never delved deeper into the mess of garbage that followed them. On their new split seven inch with Japan’s Asthenia, they take a more melodic approach to their already immense tone and turn things up a notch in the process.
The first of two from Overo is “Haunted by Heat.” Intermingled in melodic emo notes, the song starts ticking up and getting quicker as it plays. The vocals come in and things get heavier and heavier with backing vocals adding melody underneath. There’s a hearty and thick tone here, taking the band’s sound into a new space while still echoing their original intent. The second song “Near the End” isn’t even a minute long yet it makes an impression. Straining closer to the heavier side of emo, the mix of the two vocalists stand out within the haze of distortion and meaty rhythm.
For Asthenia, the lead track “Humans” hits closer to a sound that’s like if Rodan and Shellac started a new group. The song is intense and hits from the start with little air between the beginning and end. For their second song the group comes in softer without being light on “Ghosts.” The sound has a real June of 44 tone before completely switching gears and revealing a sound that’s like the screams of a person haunted by apparitions. There’s and ebb and flow to the song that should make anyone unfamiliar with the Tokyo based group a new fan.
Image Credits: Photo by Karissa Rendon.