Between The Devil And The Deep – Paper Spine
There are plenty of post-hardcore bands on offer in this fine country; it seems that when one dies, two more spring up in its place. Between The Devil And The Deep hail from Sydney, and are one of the latest groups from this genre to release an album, their debut Paper Spine. So why bother? What makes these guys any different from the hundreds of others out there? Well, because if we were to divide bands into the following categories: 1) bands doing something original, 2) bands that blatantly copy their predecessors and, 3) bands that take their influences and form something interesting from them, then BTDATD would sit snugly in number three. Granted, I tailored these options to support the point I was trying to make, but essentially most groups fit into one of them. A great example of this is the record’s opening tracks, Last Request and God Hates The New Facebook, which combine ferocious hardcore moments with soft and atmospheric, melody-heavy sections. This sounds like nothing new, but it is in the way that these songs are structured and in the transition of the sections themselves that the group shines.
One of the album stand-outs is a song called Ballast, an intense, energetic explosion of emotion and aggression that is able to create its heavy feel without actually being too heavy. The guitar riffs blaze at a frantic pace as the track shifts and moves, constantly driven by desperate vocals. Following along the lines of groups like Bear Vs Shark and La Dispute, the track listing is relentless, and has the strongest effect when listened to as a whole piece.
The songs move from complete chaos in tracks like Britney, to the more relaxed and spacious title track, another highlight. The record ends on Breathing Dirt, which opens with a constant bass drum and lines of feedback. It leads into a tussle between guitar riffs and the rhythm section, and a slow, dragging verse, all building to a chorus that sounds so messy that it shouldn’t work at all, and yet it ultimately does. Between The Devil And The Deep are going about things the way you need to if you want to be noticed in the current sea of post-hardcore bands. Paper Spine is a well-formed album that really doesn’t feature a moment that should be skipped; lest we forget, this is also the band’s debut, which makes everything that little bit more impressive.