This EP, whether the band knows it or not, is a small premiere. It's the first physical CD we've ever gotten in the mail for review. We received an email from Krys who's the vocalist (I think) of this band and he was like "dude gimme your address I wanna send you my band's CD". I asked him if he was sure he wanted to spend money on postage, because we'd be just as happy with a download link. "No man, I gotta send you this promo pack, give me your address, do it, do it now!" And I did. A brisk two weeks or so later, a package all the way from Paris made its way to my local post office, from where it ended up on my desk, where I tore it apart to reveal a neatly packaged CD and a nicely decorated, but rather sparse info sheet.
Now, I'm not into collecting CDs. The last CD's I had were some Negură Bunget albums, but I gave them to some girl because honestly CDs are a pain in the ass. I'm never, ever, ever, EVER going to think to myself "hey, I feel like listening to this band, let me PUT THE CD IN MY COMPUTER'S DVD TRAY THEN WAIT FOR IT TO SPIN FOR A WHILE THEN PLAY IT IN WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER." Too much work. The artwork argument doesn't hold up with me either, because CD artwork is just too damn small. If you like artwork, then splurge on the vinyl disc so you can admire the artwork on a huge canvas. All in all, I'd rather just buy digital copies of music or support the band by going to a show or buying a shirt.
So after importing a CD through iTunes for the first time in my life, I was finally able to put a sound to the In the Guise of Men name. Man, this is really hard to describe and I'm gonna do a really bad job at it. It's a really diverse mixture and I can hear a TON of stuff battling for attention: percussive djenty guitar riffs, slight progressive touches, distorted telephone vocals, clean vocals sung in an alternative metal style, rumbling bass lines, aggressive parts, uplifting choruses, weird electronic bits - I mean holy shit, that's a lot of things to go through in just six songs clocking in at 27 minutes!
In the Guise of Men manage to somehow pull it off nicely, though. The band is able to intelligently mix together all of these seemingly different elements into one single coherent, catchy package. Ink can feel pretty schizoid at times, moving swiftly between moods, but I think this works in its favor and makes for an engaging and dynamic listening experience. I'd love to see these guys perform live, because I'm convinced their music truly blossoms in a live setting. The somewhat muddy production on CD doesn't really do it justice.
Anyway, I'm getting the irking feeling that I'm rambling aimlessly, so I'll put an end to it. Thanks for sending us your CD, dudes, and keep up the good work! Hopefully we'll have a beer before your concert in Bucharest soon, right?