Release Date: 2nd September 2022
Record Label: MNRK Heavy
FFO: The Dillinger Escape Plan, Glassjaw, The Number 12 Looks Like You
It has been almost five years since The Dillinger Escape Plan, the band synonymous with turning chaos into art, disbanded. Many have contended to fill the very big shoes they left behind, and with Celebrity Therapist, The Callous Daoboys may have ended the search for Dillinger’s successor.
Taking less than a minute into the record to unleash both their chaotic credentials and a penchant for clean, almost comical interludes, The Callous Daoboys wear their influences on their sleeve for album number three. Their sound has always been rooted in the chaotic arena of hardcore, but Celebrity Therapist sees the band double down on the rabid, frenzied approach to heavy music. The untethered energy and rage that dominates the album is shocking, with spasmodic rhythms that are beyond comprehension. Acting now as a seven piece, the additional instruments add an extra weight to the dissonant stabs that punctuate every track, providing an extra dimension to those who may have grown weary of stop/start riffing.
The band’s set up, a traditional five-piece rock band arrangement, is enhanced with the addition of keyboards and violin. The trap that many bands fall into when introducing a new, left field instrument is the obligation to force said instrument into the limelight, often resulting in a crude, jarring solo spot. The Callous Daoboys utilise their expanded musical arsenal masterfully, adding subtle texture to distorted guitars (a clever tactic in a genre so dominated by the instrument) and providing a tonal contrast with their brief interludes from the mathcore mayhem. As a result, the band avoid all risk of their sound becoming stale. Each track features a full array of insane frenetic pandemonium, crushing heaviness and moments that would be classified as more conventional which, in context, accentuates the heavier assaults and gives the listener some relief, as well as a chance to establish their footing.
Yet despite all the madness bursting out of each song, it is the melodic vocalisation of the album’s midpoint ‘Title Track’ that is the crowning moment of Celebrity Therapist. After a brief burst of the band’s craziness, the track abruptly drops down to one of the most beautiful dual vocal melodies found in any genre, supported only by an understated palm muted guitar. As the dynamics build, the vocals and instrumentation resemble that of the incredibly underrated The Sound Of Animals Fighting, with vocalist Carson Pace’s performance even mirroring that of Rich Balling. Just to reassure that the band haven’t gone full pop for this track, the song intermittently and unexpectedly switches back to manic instrument stabs, as if a DJ is changing stations at random. While it may not be new for heavier acts to feature a moment of respite, there are few who have done so as accomplished as The Callous Daoboys have with ‘Title Track’. With the vocals taking an almost RnB approach to the melody, this is a move that should be copied by other heavy bands for years to come (providing the imitators are anywhere near as successful).
Displaying a clear influence from some of the greatest and most revered bands in hardcore – and more importantly, successfully channelling their various sounds – The Callous Daoboys have developed a sound unlike any other band operating today. They have also created a contender for album of the year, but Celebrity Therapist is sure to be just one of the many accomplishments this band see in their future.
Recommended Track: ‘Title Track’
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