They still make screamy, angular indie rock, thank heavens. I’d been afraid that screamo had co-opted this style of delivery almost completely, but Jowls‘ Cursed, out now on Tiny Engines, comfortably delivers screaming and impassioned lyrical delivery from breakdowns and mall hair.
Cursed is jam-packed with metronomic pulses which abruptly shift, lurching and jerking into another cyclical section, which will itself be punctuated by agonized vocals. The first side’s three songs hew so closely to this template that it’s almost as if it’s one long song, each track seperated but nothing but a quiet drum roll.
Then, side b opens with “Sway Slow,” which allows you neither — starting out as it does with a trainlike rhythm, going into breakneck speed. It’s the peak of the album which builds to that bit of blistering speed, and then becomes a bit more sedate towards the end. While definitely a throwback to an era I’d long thought gone (we miss you, Season to Risk and Fragile Porcelain Mice!), it’s so defiantly different than what’s currently being purveyed it feels fresh.
The album comes as a 10-inch, with a pressing of 500 — 100 on black, 125 on clear with black smoke, 125 on opaque green, and 150 on opaque bone. The smoke is particularly choice, and can still be had from the Tiny Engines store.