Huge slabs of raw emotion played out through instruments that are played so hard they sound like they are at the point of breaking! ALTA's new record gives you everything. 10 seconds in and we swear you'll be hooked. A Beautiful production captures ALTA's controlled chaos perfectly. Guitar tapping, massive riffs, ruthless times sigs, gang vocals, screamy vocals, soundscapes, vocals dripping with honestly and passion. You can visualise the band sweating in a small room giving it their all as you listen to this record. Its better to just listen to the record. YOU WILL LOVE IT. ALTA are not messing around. A total DIY punk rock ethic, This is post hardcore,post punk, post whatever - perfection! Honest music played how it should be. No posers here.
The headlines must write themselves: “Alta-ed Perceptions”, “F-Alta Lines” and so on. A snappy name is a gift from the Gods for the rushed hack. Problems may arise when the music contained within demands the attention and does the talking more than a cheap pun ever could.
The Milwaukee post-hardcore outfit are a group that mixes dizzying intricacy, speed and bewildering noise to great effect. Their appearance on Liverpool-based EDiLS Recordings’ fourth (and best?) compilation granted them access to a city and a nation always keen to embrace and accept the latest sounds.
From the off, ‘Winter/Mute’ with its needling feedback giving way to the bass-driven swell, Places is not shy to have a go at…well, almost anything. Wilfully obstructive song titles (‘Merry New Year’, ‘+ -‘) belie the range of emotions on offer, but the device works insomuch as it succeeds in not giving the game away. ‘Ocean Liners’ deadening assumption that “things, they stay the same” states that underneath the trickery, they’re just telling it like it is.
One of Places’ more prominent virtues is its overall sense of fragility. The instrumentation may front and pulverise, but the raw production and relentless pace threatens to unravel at any second. Hearing the vocals nearly break down completely under stress during ‘Dakota’ is a prime example of this.
Alta are a band that offer an unspoken agreement that it’s better to burn out than to fade away. If they come and go in the blink of an eye, then records like Places should be sought after keenly.
Words by Joseph Viney
released February 3, 2013
artwork by Jackie Stephan
recorded by Shane Hochstetler @ Howl Street Studios
mastered by Carl Saff
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