Isis have so very much to answer for: before the former Bostonians were plastered across the covers of metal magazines the globe over (or at least afforded multi-page coverage within such glossy pages), bands like Symmetry wouldn’t have had an audience readily willing to accept their slowly shifting riffs and preposterous song-length self-indulgence. Reading between the purple prose lines of the much-flattering press release (someone needs a pat on the back for such wonderfully creative sycophancy) reveals the following: Symmetry have guitars; they play them loudly and sometimes quietly (that’s your USP right there); they do this a lot; and then they stop.
Don’t misread the above as implying that Symmetry aren’t technically proficient at what they do – this quartet offload almighty riffs as easily as you spread butter across your toast of a bleary eyed morning – but the simple fact is that they’re the umpteenth band of the last hour to master this slow-motion approach to (post)rock music. The lack of anything particularly new here means that those already into the bands that Symmetry have supported – Pelican, Oceansize – are unlikely to find it engrossing enough to warrant repeat plays, and those favouring faster music aren’t going to so much as afford them the time of day. ‘You Are Now Witness To Parentheses In Action’ might have an interesting title, but almost eight minutes after pressing play you’ll be challenged to recall a single standout second of a song so indebted to other acts that it can’t possibly be addressed without immediately reaching for a better example of its kind. The closing ‘End Of’ is better, an alarming tempo change six-odd minutes in ensuring that this four-tracker ends on a bombastic high. That EP title, though, is ridiculous: it smacks of the chosen-prefix contrived and carbon-copied, and is an awkward obstacle for any listener to overcome before they’ve even flipped the jewel case open.
Ending on a positive, though, this is a debut, and better records will follow for sure. If Symmetry can spend less time looking to ape those that soundtrack their own existences – concentrating instead on where they want to take this well-realised but creatively empty music next – then they might be able to offer something to make ours that little bit more exciting.
5Mike Diver's Score