Thursday, December 19, 2013
Season To Risk In A Perfect World Sony/Red Decibel 1995
The more I get into this project, the more I realize just how cool KC was in the 1990's. I've always been in love with the stuff from Lawrence, KS, but the more I look at it, KC in the 90's was where it was at. Not Charlie Parker Jazz-era cool, but pretty incredible.
Season to Risk were among the leaders of that era. I always kind of brushed them off as a bit too metal, a bit to jock rock. But, after digging into them more, they're intelligent, they use odd time signatures, and the only difference between them and their more indie-friendly counterparts, Shiner, is that Season to Risk used a far more aggressive approach. In the end, the bands shared members, played shows together, and were leading the KC scene together. People talk about Lawrence and how it was supposed to be the next "Seattle" in the mid-90's. But, KC trumps the college town and had a more defined sound.
Shiner, Boys Life and Giants Chair are the indie-darlings. Their sound was a bit artsy, a bit math rock, but still, very distinct post-hardcore sounds. Season to Risk, Molly McGuire, Clutch, those three all signed to major labels in the 90's. By default, they tended to be more "commercial" than the others, but their post-hardcore leanings certainly never got them to the top ten. There were countless other bands doing the same thing, angular guitars, start-stop dynamics, it was a legitimate scene, these were all recognized touring artists.
Listening to this album, you get what attracted the majors to a band like Season to Risk. Despite the complex song structures the band makes you raise your fist. "Jack Frost," "Absolution," "Bloodugly," "Terrain Vague," and "Sleepwalker" are undeniable and had metal NOT been destroyed as a genre by grunge, some of the tunes could have been hits on that side of the spectrum. Angry, skateboarding, male teenagers, loved this band and there were a lot of those types running around in the mid 90's. It's too bad it never caught on in a major way, this type of music, this scene, could have saved everyone from the retarded angst-rock that did catch on in 1998 with the likes of Korn and Limp Bizkit.