Black Market Activities, 2008
REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 11/26/2009
From A Second Story Window's second release may have been their last. Some Web sites claim that they broke up in August 2008, though another says they are together and that just a guitarist has left. If the band never records again, it'd be a shame. I consider FASSW a band whose music is spiritually addictive.
Conversations begins with the hypnotic opening track "Most Of Us Are Normal" and easily continues through the Pink Floyd-ish "When Harry Met Sally" conclusion. The opening track's tom tom part is played under clean vocals. But the serenity of this track is quickly broken into glass shards in the next song, "Self Admitted," during which vocalist Will Jackson toggles to a grounding growl. Not my favorite vocal style, but like other growly vocalist bands – thinking of Lamb Of God right now – I'm committed to this band.
Things progress with some more metal riffing and growly vocals. Fourth track "Momemntal Treason" has a lot of double bass and synchronized guitar and drum fills. The vocals return to a clear style and I can understand what is being sung when vocalist Will Jackson is purging raw energy from his body's core.
What strikes me most about this band is their teamwork mentality. Guitarists Rob Hileman and Paul Misko are often playing off of what drummer Nick Huffman is playing on his toms and cymbals. There's a uniformity among the parts being played that is refreshing. At the same time, there are counter melodies that make the music interesting.
The best song on this release is next to the aforementioned "When Harry Lost Sally" at the end of the release. "Stolen Lands" could have easily ended this disc. The band's energy is as hypnotic as on "Most Of Us Are Normal" and features a return to the clean vocal style from Jackson.
Disbanded or not, From A Second Story Window is a band that is worth your attention. I have listened to this release more times than I can count.