It takes The JonBenet a minute to get started on their “Ugly/Heartless”, but the band is able to string together a catchy chorus for “Devils” that would go up well against acts like Job For A Cowboy and even classic metal acts like Pantera. This is not saying that The JonBenet have anything really in common with these two acts, but they do come up with a wicked brand of hardcore that stays away from the Cookie Monster type of sound that has infiltrated the market in the last few years. For each of the tracks on “Ugly/Heartless”, there is something hidden – a cereal prize, if you will – that will get individuals stoked for the rest of the tracks on the disc.
Many of the songs on this disc have breakdowns that are impressive in their breaking down of time signatures and the expectations that individuals have for the band. While there is a heavy focus on “Ugly/Heartless” on the vocals that are continually assaulting listeners, there are quite a few things to be said about the drumming that plays at the bottom of the tracks. This is not just the double-bass heavy same drum beat that hundreds of hardcore bands hit their listeners with, but rather The JonBenet put drum beats that actually fit the tracks that they are on.
The tracks are not the forty and fifty second bursts that acts like Agoraphobic Nosebleed commit to disc, but rather enjoy two and three minute runtimes that allow the band to exhaust all conceivable paths for the track to take. “Ugly/Heartless” is a good title for this album, as the compositions that The JonBenet litter this disc with are brutish, nasty, and otherwise vile. They are not bad by any stretch of the imagination but are perhaps the furthest things away from what is called rock at this current moment. This is music to slam-dance or mosh to; this is the melodrama of emo music after it has been twisted and corrupted by years of seething. The JonBenet play the perfect part in showing a lover scorned and (instead of emo acts, who pine over their lost loves) what happens when the lover gets revenge. Thus, tracks like “Why We’re Dead” uses a sludgy type of guitar line and a driving melody to show the lover that burns down their ex’s house and all the possessions captured inside.
Top Tracks: Why We’re Dead, We Eat Our Young
The JonBenet – Ugly/Heartless / 2006 Pluto / 12 Tracks / http://www.thejonbenet.com / http://www.plutorecords.com / Reviewed 22 July 2006