The interesting thing about the opening of “Pictures From The Hotel Apocalypse” is perhaps the sheer amount of psychedelic rock that Since By Man inserts into their opening “Emergency And Me”. The disjointed sound cultivated by the aforementioned track and elaborated upon in “Lactating Teens”. “Young America” has a sound that can be heard in a thousand different hardcore bands throughout the United States; the only thing that really delineates it from the masses of gauged-ears, dyed black-bands is that the production values are very above anything that the heartland of America could bring forth. “Isider Lines” brings a more classic sound to Since By Man, and the band uses more strung-out arrangements (a la At The Drive-In or early Interpol) to create a brooding, yet confident track.
A twinge of eighties influence is enough to make this track stand up amongst a disc of solid tracks. What is possibly the strongest thing about Since By Man is that they are able to bring something new to each of the tracks on “Hotel Apocalypse”: “Match on Action” challenges the convention of generic arrangements with solid riffs that experiment (all while sounding wonderful in their own context). The break-down that bridges the two sections of the track is unnaturally rough for the song, but really shows a tension between various forces on the disc that had been culminating up to that point.
The drums present on the track (which rapidly gain speed) are the perfect re-introduction to the soulful arrangements (which are similar to a harder-edged Rise Against) that end the track. Inserting more than their fair share of noise and electronic sound to “Binary Heart Attack”, Since By Man really reiterate their technical ability in creating a distinct atmosphere for their music. Using an echoed set of vocals that are reminiscent of “Antichrist Superstar-era” Marilyn Manson, the drum/guitar dynamic add a funkiness to the track that is really not heard in much of the electronic/techno music that the track emulates. Ther album is not a collection of singles, but really is an evolutionary experience that sounds incredibly different from when it starts to when it ends. For example, the female vocals during “Quid Pro Quo Motherfucker” adds yet another dimension to Since By Man’s music, making something that is already dense the equivalent of a black hole (without doing anything in the way of cluttering the band’s dynamic up).
Top Tracks: The Neon Wilderness, Binary Heart Attack