Come Taste The Misery – House Of Silence – EP Review
…what IS all this?
You’re telling me that, from the time we posted up “Wrong Side Of Heaven” back in the summer of 2020 – in what’s basically been a year & three months since, Come Taste The Misery has pretty much gone on to stock the entire internet with new music and this is the first I’m hearing about it all now? Look at all this stuff online! There’s an album called Run that was released shortly after Mirrors where we last left off…singles like “Rain” featuring Katty Verse, “Sweet,” and the return of Nathan Hakoune to collaborate on “Little Devil” – another EP called Bleed put out earlier this year…I mean…where does all this come from? I swear…I turn my head for two seconds, and y’all fill your whole catalogs with music these days.
The real bottom line is, whether we end up featuring every release here on our pages or not for any band or artist out there in the independent music-scene, you know we respect a work-ethic like what you see here in Come Taste The Misery – based out of Athens, Greece, they’re clearly a hard working crew. Led by Christos Kariotis at the helm, this band rocks the heavy stuff loud’n’proud – so prepare your speakers for a gritty adventure into the dank-ass vibes of some good ol’ Alternative sound, will ya?
With bass-line-heavy riffs starting out their title-track with a psychedelic tinge as the record begins, Come Taste The Misery immediately starts to deliver on what they’re promising ya with the sound they choose to rock in – ain’t no doubt they got a solid grip on the underground Alternative vibe. There’s probably an argument to be made that the most tangible hooks you’ll find are right there in those same very bass-lines you hear as “House Of Silence” gets moving – but there ain’t nothing wrong with that – I figure as long as you’ve got’em somewhere in a song, there’s enough people that’ll catch on out there in some capacity. We’re all kind of trained to listen to what’s happening on the microphone as that main source of what’s memorable, but I’d wager a guess that those out there really listening to their music well-know that you can find a solid hook comin’ outta just about any facet of whatever you’re jamming. As to whether or not I can justify the inclusion of “House Of Silence” twice on one short record…that might be another story – and we’ll get to more of that by the end of this review, I promise ya – read on. For now, it’s fair to say that “House Of Silence” gets the slick & sly grooves that Come Taste The Misery flowin’ in the right direction, gives you a well-balanced representation of what this band & this record are like to experience, and displays a great introduction to the personality & character they have in their vocals & music. You can feel the Alternative edge loom large like a shadow over this cut, threatening to break open into a full-on psychedelic freakout at any moment, but Come Taste The Misery keeps this all under tight control, opting for a mellower set of vibes that still manages to pump out distilled intensity.
Am I more of a fan of “Low?” That’s actually hard to say. I think guitar-wise, Come Taste The Misery makes some extremely rad & badass choices on this second cut – and I’d definitely go to bat for this song making a more immediate impression with its more energetic & lively spirit fueling the pace. Just outside of those verses/choruses though…if you ask me, that’s where the real magic is being made on a song like “Low” – the instrumentation, and the entire sensory sound they’re rocking with…it beyond addictive to me. I’m not tellin’ ya the vocals take away from the experience…they simply add a different dimension to this song, some will love it, others maybe not in that regard, like we experience with all music in that sense – but the instrumentation & energy surrounding the vocals of this cut are freakin’ undeniably awesome. There’s a large part of me that would have no problem declaring this as one of my favorites on the record…I think from about a minute on-forward, Come Taste The Misery is on the most extremely solid ground you might even find them on throughout this whole entire EP. I have my moments with the verses if I’m being honest…that’s the only thing that’s stopping me from ranting & raving about the full length of “Low” – there’s a bit of indecisiveness or unevenness to the vocals there that results in parts that just don’t seem to quite have the same punch by comparison. That being said, you always have to wonder if one half can even exist without the other, you feel me? If it wasn’t for the more low-key approach to the verses, would the chorus & surrounding instrumentation come out as spectacularly engaging and as lively as they end up doing? I kinda suspect not if I’m being honest with ya – but at the same time, I think there’s still more of an opportunity to balance the strengths out a bit more too. As in, the verses are decent enough to get’em by – the chorus raises the stakes significantly – and the rest surrounding all that, is off-the-charts cool to experience…kind of like three flavors of ice cream, we’re all bound to have our own favorite elements of a song like “Low” that we enjoy the most.
“A Canvas Full Of Nightmares” was right up there with my favorites…even if I still felt like there were a few quirks in this cut here & there that reveal a couple spots where Come Taste The Misery still has an opportunity to grow & evolve further. Even that’s debatable…I’m personally hearing split-seconds where things could maybe be that much sharper in the bass, drums, and guitars…but by design, “A Canvas Full Of Nightmares” seems to really embrace a looser, hazier, lazier kind of vibe to it. Not at all necessarily a bad kind of ‘lazy’ either, I’m not implying that…just loose grooves that don’t quite come with those crispy defined edges you’d hear in say, a song like “Snakebite” right afterwards. The added looseness here, for myself personally, is no obstacle whatsoever – I can hear the groove & ideas they’re reaching for, and I think Come Taste The Misery latches right onto one of their most addictive cuts as a result of the efforts, even as it stands right now. Sharpening it up…while tempting…might very well take the savage magic at work right out of a song like “A Canvas Full Of Nightmares” – and I’m not at all sure it’d be a trade I’d recommend making or worth the risk when this version is already as kickass as it is. The more I spun my way through this record over the past week or so, the more I felt like this specific cut had the most memorable hook of the whole set…the chorus of “A Canvas Full Of Nightmares” came out really effectively…it’s as addictive as it is memorable – all around, I felt like this was a genuinely strong track in this lineup on House Of Silence that, even with its slower pace, won’t encounter too much resistance from people listening out there at all – they’ve got a mesmerizing vibe goin’ on here.
In the case of “Snakebite” – I think they’ve got another really solid cut in the middle of this record. I’d probably still side with “A Canvas Full Of Nightmares” being a better song overall in terms of the writing & memorable nature of its main hooks – but “Snakebite” really ain’t that far behind it. Kind of like the difference between the start of the record with the title-track & that second cut “Low” – you can hear the vibrant life snap back into the music when “Snakebite” begins, snapping them out of that looseness that becomes the dominant trait of “A Canvas Full Of Nightmares” and they break out of their hypnosis to surge into more energetic terrain. The contrasting energy between the design of the vocals and the vibrant nature of the music…it works…I’m not gonna dispute that it works. Would it potentially benefit from more energy & power behind each & every syllable? I’ve gone back & forth on that a little bit. I felt like “Snakebite” is meant to have that slithery movement that you get in the slickness of the vocals you’ll find here, but at the same time, I did find myself wanting a bit more of the power and energy you find in the music to match what we hear a little more closely in that regard. Not the music slowing down, but the vocals finding that necessary spark that can rival what we hear surrounding them in the music…that’s what I’m saying. Hard to argue a point like that when bands like Interpol, The National, The Editors, She Wants Revenge, Failure, and on & on & on have found success just fine and created amazing songs with singers that barely ever push a note above the complete flat-line of their pulse. Rock on as far as I’m concerned – I thought “Snakebite” was one of this record’s better cuts for sure.
“Danger Zone” is…hmm…well it’s just about the polar opposite of the Kenny Loggins mega-hit if anyone out there is wondering…this is not, repeat, not a cover of “Highway To The Danger Zone” – so get a grip. You weren’t REALLY expecting that to have happened, were ya? That would have been a very strange choice for a band like Come Taste The Misery to have made, and I’m mighty thankful they didn’t – I don’t care what the variation on a cover of “Highway To The Danger Zone” would sound like, I have heard that song enough to fill five lifetimes already, tyvm. “Danger Zone” by Come Taste The Misery heads straight into the dankest sludge-Alternative grooves you’ll find on this record…the pace crawls along real slowly for the most part…it’s a bass-led tune, and they come out with another stellar mix of psychedelically-charged sound at work here…not all that far removed from what I love about the band Dandelion from the mid-90s really. I’ll say this…”Danger Zone” might appeal to me and my Grunge/Alt upbringing…but it’s still a tough sell to fans of those genres, and a much tougher sell to anyone outside of’em. The crawling pace of “Danger Zone” is mesmerizing & hypnotic in the right ways…ultimately Come Taste The Misery are successful in creating what they’ve set out to create here – it’s just a matter of whether or not it’s got enough juice or memorable aspects to it to win over the people listening. I think it’s by far the track with the most obstacles in its way in that regard on this record…I can make an argument on why it appeals to me personally all damn day, but I know how other people will hear this cut as well…”Danger Zone” is gonna be in for an uphill battle in comparison to the accessibility of the rest of this lineup. Still a decent track in my opinion…but yeah…it’s at a real tough pace for the masses.
Ilya drops in to lend his talents to the microphone on “Pale Dove” – and I felt like this was a great move on part of Come Taste The Misery to bring that spark back to the record as they surge towards the end. With Ilya on the mic, it opens up the opportunity for the sound of this band to morph once again, which they do – they’re almost rockin’ in a Queens Of The Stone Age-esque style here…not the songs you hear on the radio, but the real kickass ones that you repeat on their records. Ilya’s like a rad combination of Nick Oliveri, Ian Astbury, Mark Lanegan, and Todd Kerns all rolled right into one dude…he gives the vocals on this track a real edge & advantage in reaching a whole different dimension of their audience. It’s a collaboration that definitely works well in everyone’s favor – theirs as a band, Ilya as a guest star, and us as listeners – we all win here. “Pale Dove” has a fantastic grind to the guitars goin’ on – and the vocals of Ilya really end up stealing the show here in all the right ways; he’s a full complement to what’s already a genuinely kickass set of ideas in the music happening, Ilya just takes what’s awesome & turns up the heat even more is all. Bring it on brother-man, I’m all about it – from the steely grind of the guitars & their treble-up tone flaring away, to the brilliance of the vocals to be found on “Pale Dove” – you get a huge dose of wild personality & stellar sound combined on one of House Of Silence’s best cuts and most universal tracks – I’m definitely not gonna be alone in my desire to turn this track right UP.
So here’s where I’m at with the final track, the reappearance of “House Of Silence” in the ol’ ‘radio edit’ form at the end – I’m not disputing that it’s a solid tune that represents Come Taste The Misery and this record pretty well – I’m just sayin’ what I’d say to any artist or band about the inherent risk of having a song appear twice in a short set-list. Or any set-list length really…I think the risk is always there. What exactly is that risk, you ask? Good question. For starters – visually, to the average everyday listener out there, you’ve already informed their eyeballs on which song they’re supposed to like, as opposed to them having a proper listen on their own & deciding more autonomously for themselves. Trust me – the reviewers out there will pick up on seeing it there twice, and heap praise on “House Of Silence” whether they like it, love it, or hate it as a result – simply because they can again, visually see for themselves what song they’re being steered towards & what the single is. The other potential disadvantage, is you can burn the public out on a song twice as fast if you’re not too careful. Think of it this way – when you go to push repeat on House Of Silence by Come Taste The Misery, you’re in effect getting back-to-back doses of their title-track…and with the differences between the original recipe and the extra crispy here being as minimal as they are…trust me y’all, that wear & tear becomes pretty damn real, pretty damn quick on some people out there listening. Essentially what I’m saying is – there’s a reason we tend to gravitate towards singles as listeners – it’s merely because we hear that hook or something we identify with strongly in the music that pulls us back in naturally, and we love these songs because of that, 100% – but having a cut appear twice can also threaten that signature track’s longevity in many cases. It’s nothing more than basic math & how much time we end up spending with one song versus the others – obviously it’s a 2:1 ratio here when it comes to “House Of Silence” – and it’s not as if I’m saying Come Taste The Misery is the first band out there in the world to take this approach – tons of you out there do – as to whether or not the people love that idea as much as the bands & artists do…I’m doubtful on that. Like I said…I’m not disputing the fact that it’s a quality cut in this lineup – and at the beginning of listening to any record, that wear & tear never really gets felt at the start…that stuff never really enters the equation until we’re months down the road, then we’ll talk again and see who’s right about what. Do I think there are better candidates for the single of this album? Harder to say…that’s one of the best things about their choice of the title-track being the one to test the radio-waves…it really is one of the most balanced representations of what Come Taste The Misery creates. I could make an argument for songs like “Snakebite” or “A Canvas Full Of Nightmares” or even “Pale Dove” having more memorable hooks & potential gateways in…but in terms of balance start to finish, they’ve chosen wisely by putting “House Of Silence” out there to test the waters & the court of public opinion. Plus, I mean…if there’s more outstanding material to put out there, then hey why not start things up with a reliable cut like “House Of Silence” – it gives them room to raise the stakes & make an even bigger impression with that next single they slice off the record to slide over to radio, know what I mean? Heck, Nirvana did it – tons of bands do that…sometimes by choice, sometimes by accident…doesn’t really matter – the advantage remains the same. Bottom line is, Come Taste The Misery has more than a few options to choose from when it comes to what they can put out there to entice people to listen, and they’ll dig what they find when they do – House Of Silence really has its own vibe to it…as far as cohesion in a set is concerned, you gotta hand it to’em for a full lineup of seven tracks that sound completely like they belong together.
Find out more about Come Taste The Misery at Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/cttm.69
Find out what we do at sleepingbagstudios, and be the next to be featured on our pages by clicking here!