The Saddest Landscape

'After the Lights'

(Topshelf records)

MARK: 73/100


Like the entire artwork depicts, the music the Massachussetts 3-piece creates is filled with nervousness and depressive feelings worsened by the life in a bleak city.
24 minutes split in 7 seven tracks where Indie rock, Punk and Hardcore flow closely, with intelligent and well-written lyrics seeing the qualitative apex in "This Heals Nothing".
Frantic drumming recorded masterfully and guitar strokes characterize the songs with unusual insistence, while the vocals range from hopeless to rabid tones, occasionally enhanced by a cello intervention in a couple of tracks; memorable are the melodic breaks in the middle of most compositions followed by Hardcore outbursts, whereas "When Everything Seemed To Matter" stands out since it contains the most caustic and the most melancholic parts of the record; the cello contribution helps to make it one of the best. Although melodic structures appear in the romantically-lyricized "The Comfort of Small Defeats", closed in a Jazzy Rock manner, and in the longer "Desperate Vespers", "After the Lights" cannot be defined an all-outmelodic or emotional Hardcore album. This sort of Hardcore is tight, adrenalinic and won't let you rest rocked by melodies, but the evolution of Hardcore has brought acts such as The Saddest Landscape to occasionally incorporate these elements whenever strictly necessary for euphonic reasons, and this does make sense to me.
If there's an issue to improve, that concerns the composition of the songs, most of which are too similar to one another, but sometimes details emerge to reduce this feeling, such as the vibrant bass lines in "Days of Punched in" or the mad vocals from a distance only matched by the bass at a certain point of the above-mentioned "Desperate Vespers".
Gleeful to approach a new band, I can't but recommend this trio to Hardcore audiences of different extractions, privileging those who have a larger discography of Screamo Hardcore material devoid of extreme or catchy deliverances; all those who started in the 90s their listenings in the scene will rejoice, too. And of course the band's early fans won't be unsatisfied either, giving the combo more confirmations to keep up their long career, aware that they've always been on track.


Line-up on this record:
Aaron Neigher - d.
Andy Maddox - v., g.
Eric Mauro - g.
Later they added:
Jeff Ramirez - b.

Official site:

-Cover Your Heart (EP - 2003)
-Split with Funeral Diner - Music Inspired by Rites of Spring Part One (7" - 2003)
-Split with The Pine (2003)
-A Promise Was Made (10" - 2003)
-The Sound of the Spectacle (CD - 2003 - 4 versions)
-Lift Your Burdens High For This Is Where We Cross (CD - 2004 - 3 versions)
-All Is Apologized for. All Is Forgiven (Compilation 2007)
-Split with Trophy Scars (EP - 2009)
-I Don't Want to Miss You Anymore (7" - 2009)
-Split with Pianos Become The Teeth (EP - 2010)
-You Will Not Survive (10" - 2010)
-You Will Not Survive (CD - 2010 - 5 versions)
-Split with If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? (7" - 2010)
-Split with We Were Skeletons (7" - 2011)
-Cover Your Heart (7" - 2012)
-Split with You Blew It! - SXSW 2012 Promo single (7" - 2012)
-After the Lights (mini-CD - 2012 - 8 versions)