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Geography | Life in Binary (Universal Warning)

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It seems as if the mean world syndrome has scattered its fairy dust. Hopefully, he/she can make another trip, this time sprinkling from the magic benzodiazepine bag.


I was completely clueless as to what Geography’s EP had to offer; however, the cover art seemed kickass and the quote “We can’t make love to barcodes” gave me a chuckle. I soon became familiarized with their punky, screaming, off-key, slurred vocal stylings and fast-paced, indie and metal melded drum and guitar mix. As self-proclaimed shit disturbers, they warn, “Geography is poised to piss on your parade.” It seems as if the mean world syndrome has scattered its fairy dust. Hopefully, he/she can make another trip, this time sprinkling from the magic benzodiazepine bag. Geography also claims that their music is “Designed to eviscerate.” I wouldn’t quite consider their album to be a disemboweling experience (or any album for that matter, except maybe one or two memorable songs from the Braveheart soundtrack).

Life in Binary proved to be more of a push and pull affair. Some of the jogging minor chords had me somewhat enthused and pulled me in, but their punchy, punky, sloppy, oftentime off-key vocals ended up pushing me away. I couldn’t help but zone out until the eardrum-rending noise simmered down. I also couldn’t help but feel sorry for lead singer Joshua Emery’s vocal chords. He could make any music teacher or voice coach cry for mercy. Considering the band’s “screw you” slogan, such a feat might get them off. I understand that the universal language of punk is non-language, but temper-tantrum vocals should be used sparingly. It’s the whole valley and peaks, rising/climax/falling type structure. Too much of anything becomes obnoxious.

The first track, “The Seraph and Her Ghost,” contains the fair-haired lyric, “We can’t make love to barcodes,” a clever way of saying, “we can’t feel a connection to the standardized and mass-produced.” Why can’t they reproduce this type of neato obscurity via discernable language (at least most of the time) throughout the entire album? Geography has the ability to set witty messages into motion; however, they choose to project an overly publicized, anger-ridden guise. I listened to each song at least twice, some even three times, trying to derive something more than “nice instrumentals and syncopated beats.” It was to no avail. Titles such as “And the Dead Shall Mock the Earth” are good hooks; it really sucks when there’s nothing at the end of the line. Constant screaming has a way of not distinguishing itself from song to song. Instead, it makes you crave a drink.

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