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SeeYouSpaceCowboy - Coup de Grāce (Album Review)

Friday, 26 April 2024 Written by Will Marshall

SeeYouSpaceCowboy’s music hails from a vivid recent past, when 2000s metalcore met at the corners of screamo and post-hardcore. While 2021’s ‘The Romance of Affliction’ pushed that concoction to its limits, the San Diego band have cannily embraced a neo-noir aesthetic and concept to help ‘Coup de Grâce’ to sound fresh and suitably fiery.

That vivid palette is neatly utilised on the opening track Allow Us To Set the Scene and the interlude Respite For A Tragic Tale, where smoke hangs heavy in the air and the sultry voice of electro-pop artist iRis.EXE sits atop saxophones, trumpet and piano. It’s here that the speakeasy comes most vividly into view, but it’s in the intervening songs where SeeYouSpaceCowboy offer their most diverse exploration of their core sound yet.

Subtle Whispers To Take Your Breath Away recalls 2000s greats like Hawthorne Heights, even Underoath, with Connie Sgarbossa’s dramatic screams backed by swinging drums.

The Kim Dracula collaboration Lubricant Like Kerosene is an early highlight thanks to an undeniable groove that truly earns the band’s sasscore moniker — it’s like chandeliers being smashed in a barroom brawl.

In fact, one of the defining traits of ‘Coup de Grâce’ is the fact that for all of its features — and that’s a third of its 12 songs — none of them feel shoehorned in or unnecessary. Particular props to Spiritbox’s Courtney LaPlante, who puts in a show-stopping turn on To the Dance Floor For Shelter, trading melodies and corrosive roars with Sgarbossa.

From the addictive handclaps and screeching panic chord breakdowns of Silhouettes In Motion to Chewing the Scenery’s emo-flecked vitriolic metalcore, every inch of ‘Coup de Grâce’ oozes joy in its creation. It’s a whirlwind of energy that nervelessly balances vivid concept flourishes — it is SeeYouSpaceCowboy at their best. So far, that is. 


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