Editor’s note: This review was written by both AxlPif and NosMass. The parts written by them have been clearly defined. The score was agreed upon by both reviewers. Enjoy!
I had personal reasons for taking on this review. I had a sister once and she passed away a couple of years back, she was SS. Hell of a way to start a review huh. You’ll find no sadness here, my peace has been made with that reality long ago. Writing this review on a bus from NYC back to Pittsburg, I’ve got a total of 7-8hours on the road to burn and my journey only just stared. So let’s get to it then.
See Ehn, it’s rare to see bands like 1LastAutograph in Nigeria, they are the only band doing what they are doing. In a way that works for them: if they release a terrible song for instance and you hate it, you’ll eventually find yourself saying “hey, but these are the only guys doing this. Let’s show them love.” To my best knowledge the band is yet to release a horrid song, every band has that so you know… Sickle Cell Amnesia happens to be 1LastAutograph’s first EP, and it’s good. It’s not a let down, well not entirely that is. Four tracks in an EP is good enough really and its free to stream so you can’t complain. With All or Nothing as the first track we are welcomed well with something familiar and hearing the song again didn’t hurt a bit. The other two songs, With Open Arms and Victim both play out fine too, how ever with Victim there was a breakdown that merged Afrocentric vibes into the song, it felt out-of-place, it could have been saved for a different song. It felt like the song was trying to be different. I will however give the band credit for experimentation there. Both songs don’t exactly get you immediately. They grow on you, which is what we Nigerians are used to now with a lot of songs produced in the country (making a stern reference to all genres of music we listen to here in Nigeria, Dorobucci comes quickly to my mind.) The very last song on the EP is the real gem.
See Ehn is the song fans of Rock music love, a song they can chant during a concert while the band performs on stage. The song is a true representation of 1LastAutograph. The star of that song so happens to be the lead singer of the band, Danjuma! His vocal delivery exceeded what we are used to from him, we all know his potential and you may be excused for assuming you’ve seen his final form (DBZ reference) but it turns out he’s evolving, can’t wait for his final form (another DBZ reference). See Ehn is the one track that saves this EP. Remember I said it’s good, well without See Ehn, it would be considered “ok.” The track is powerful enough to make you listen to the other three tracks and love the entire EP, this one track will be responsible for one loving the entire EP if you hate all the other 3 songs, I guarantee it.
Now, in the past I’ve spent my time analyzing the producers in this country and their “beats” in Rock music. The problem I usually have with them, circles around using drum machines from applications in place of real mic’d up drumming. I think that is just flat-out lazy. Call me a purist but that how it’s done. Now was a drum machine used in this EP? Well, that will be left to the fans to decide on. I’ve seen the band’s drummer Jaywalker drum live and had the pleasure of playing with him too, if his skill were replaced with a flipping drum machine then that would just be sad, if not then Jaywalker deserves praise here for his effort on this EP. I’ve chosen not to focus on the producers in this review but to raise this controversial topic.
The band should feel happy with their efforts, collectively. They put in work and it’s good work, too. The band has broken a certain barrier in the music scene in Nigerian and that’s what I’m most proud of, the first Post Hardcore (or Metalcore, depending on what camp you belong too) EP in Nigeria. The band shouldn’t pay attention to this milestone but focus on doing better, it can only get better with the band firmly together I suspect.
AXLPIF!!! WAIT!! WHAT DID YOU SAY ABOUT THE OUT OF PLACE AFROCENTRIC THINGY IN VICTIM?
Okay, let’s make this formal.
I object to that breakdown being out-of-place, maybe I’ve not listened to it enough to truly judge, but it felt like an August Burns Red thing they did there. Sure, they might not have pulled it off perfectly but it’s a cool thing. To me, anyway.
Then there’s this other thing, See Ehn is a good song. Great song. Nigeria’s first Metalcore jam. However, I have one issue with it. It’s the chorus. After the part where they sing “SEE EHN”, Danjuma goes into a harsh vocal frenzy that I don’t hear. By that, I mean I could not make out the words. Now this is most likely because of the production quality and mixing issues and all that but I feel that gang vocals or group yells during that segment should have come out more clearly. The lyrics in that chorus are really moving. Really moving. However, I had to see someone post the lyrics in a group chat before I knew what was being said. Now I know what some of you might be saying… “Dude it was audible. Maybe you just don’t listen to heavy screamo-stuff-things much.” Well, considering It’s usually the EXTREME/BRUTAL METAL spectrum I have a hard time making words out, his song should not have given me any issues in that regard. But yeah, its most likely a mixing issue.
I feel that group yells would have been a cool option for that part of the song but that’s just my (not so) humble opinion on that matter…