Review: Seyarse – Congealed Releases (Zegema Beach, Sep 3)

Since finding the long-defunct Seyarse (pronounced say-ar-say, which I only just learned) via the tremendous Open Mind / Saturated Brain blog, both their 2003 self-titled 7″ and 2004 split with La Mantra De Fhiqria have been dear favorites. Both of those are collected on Congealed Releases, new cassette/digital release by Zegema Beach, along with a live recording from a performance on 88.7 WLUW, a station in the band’s home town of Chicago. It’s great to finally have “definitive” versions of these tracks, of which I’ve only ever had secondhand rips (the 7″ tracks on Congealed Releases are also just a rip, to be fair, but it is the best rip I’ve heard by far). The following three, which originally alternated in the track list with songs by La Mantra De Fhiqria on an unusually structured single-sided LP, are noticeably punchier and clearer than the digital copies I have, and a chaotic, cacophonous hardcore band can only benefit from a more dynamic sound that still retains a gritty roughness—which this definitely does. The WLUW set is surprisingly well-recorded, and while there wasn’t any unreleased material performed other than a pretty bad ass intro jam. It’s my first time hearing who is presumably the vocalist talk, and his soft, pleasant speaking voice, which emerges to introduce the band and thank various people between most of the songs along with hilariously out-of-place acoustic guitar strumming, is such a great contrast to his shrill shrieks, some of the best I’ve ever heard in emotional hardcore music. For those of you who have never encountered Seyarse, this is the best possible way to be introduced to their powerful, complex, incendiary music.

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