ALBUM REVIEW: Coup De Grâce – SeeYouSpaceCowboy

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Comparing the utmost beginnings of a band’s discography with their newer work can often be interesting. You maybe see flashes or spots of invention or inspiration that is allowed to flourish and grow into a core aspect of their sound, or you see which ideas get lost by the wayside. It’s very rare however, that both periods of a band’s sound simultaneously sound vital and yet indebted to an era of music gone by. It just so happens that the band in question are so rare they might just be unique, and that band is SEEYOUSPACECOWBOY.

Formed in 2016 by sister-brother duo Connie and Ethan Sgarbossa, they began as a sort of throwback math/sass/metalcore project, aping the unhinged nature of bands like FEAR BEFORE THE MARCH OF FLAMES and NORMA JEAN. There was more than a knowing wink to proceedings, the band incredibly aware of their heritage and never shirking from their desire to mix worship with forward thinking creativity. It all came to an apex in 2021, when The Romance Of Affliction was released and promptly put the entire alternative music scene on notice. In addition to the bug-eyed shrieks and off-kilter riffs, the band added vocal lines reminiscent of AFI and choruses that wouldn’t be out of place on a vintage Warped Tour line-up. Combine that with the band oozing charisma and their electric live shows, and they soon became one of the most exciting names in the heavy music landscape.

So how to top an album beloved by both fans and critics, by the newcomers and oldheads alike? You turn everything up a good few notches that’s how. Before the release of Coup De Grâce, Connie spoke of adding swing and more musical theatre influences to things, while also looking to build on the hardcore elements, with Isaac Hale from KNOCKED LOOSE lending a hand in production.

What strikes you the most during the entire listening experience is the sheer number of masterfully blended elements. A love letter to the noir of the 40s and 50s, it opens with Allow Us To Set The Scene, featuring the divine vocals of IRIS.EXE, acting as a narrator for the record, and it won’t be the last you hear from them. Soulful and vulnerable, the delicate piano helps to create an image of a smoke-filled, sepia-tinged burlesque show in the back of a seedy bar as sultry jazz plays…then it hits you. Connie‘s by now trademark shrieks and yelps backed up by chaotic drums and guitars let you know that the scene is indeed set. What follows is even more of that incredibly addictive vocal interplay seen on the previous record between Connie and Taylor Allen, leading to some of the biggest earworms you’ll hear this decade. Add to that the undeniable ass-shaking backing that permeates the entire record and you’ve got a record that is a rare thing these days: fun.

One of the biggest stories of this record is the guest appearance from SPIRITBOX singer Courtney LaPlante, but it’s actually Kim Dracula who steals the show. Lubricant Like Kerosene is an amazing combination of early PANIC! AT THE DISCO and BLOOD COMMAND. With a groove and strut so massive that it genuinely has to be heard to be believed, if there’s any justice this should be the next massive rock club anthem. That’s not to say that LaPlante‘s performance on To The Dance Floor For Shelter is anything less than iconic, and it’s a welcome change to hear the SPIRITBOX singer sound less polished and more raw in her delivery.

Other glorious highlights include the bouncy post-hardcore of And The Two Slipped Into The Shadows, replete with its beautiful dual vocal weaves and an incredibly satisfying, guttural “EURGH” by Connie. The frantic clapping opening to Silhouettes In Motion, which follows on from the second IRIS.EXE track Respite For A Tragic Tale, will have you sporting a shit-eating grin, as will the moment Connie snarks her way through the “It’s just a fucking illusion” line. The end of Chewing The Scenery is insanely heavy, harking back to their more chaotic and bludgeoning days. There’s no real low point on this record, though in comparison to the two previous features on the album, NOTHING, NOWHERE‘s spot on Rhythm And Rapture fails to reach the high standards set by the others and falls short in comparison.

There’s few other ways to put it, SEEYOUSPACECOWBOY have created a piece of work that stands on the shoulders of their previous and reaches higher still. Connie is a generational frontwoman and songwriter, that is something that can not be doubted. Where else will you find a record that will have you crowdkilling one moment and bringing your inner burlesque dancer to the fore the next? You will not hear another record like this at any point in the next year, maybe even decade.

Rating: 9/10

Coup De Grâce - SeeYouSpaceCowboy

Coup De Grâce is set for release on April 19th via Pure Noise Records.


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