Pum­melling post-hard­core with se­ri­ous pedi­gree

Metal Hammer (UK) - - New Noise -

Mu­sic is de­signed to be fun, but even the sil­li­est bands should take their art se­ri­ously. Of­ten, bands can form out of noth­ing more than a de­sire to muck around be­fore de­vel­op­ing into some­thing vi­tal, and few bands of­fer more sig­nif­i­cant proof of this than post-hard­core crew Less Art.

“We formed out of this on­line-only, base­ball-themed grind­core band,” ex­plains vo­cal­ist Mike Min­nick. “We were orig­i­nally called Puig De­stroyer, which is a play on words to Pig De­stroyer and [Los An­ge­les Dodgers out­fielder] Yasiel Puig, and it was re­ally just an ex­cuse to make some fun mu­sic about base­ball. But af­ter a while we de­cided that we re­ally en­joyed play­ing to­gether and that maybe we should make a go of writ­ing some more se­ri­ous mu­sic and do some­thing for real that wasn’t so much of a joke.”

The band­mates he is talk­ing about com­prise of mem­bers of Thrice and Kowloon Walled City, and Mike him­self used to be in metal­lic hard­core he­roes Curl Up And Die. With that kind of pedi­gree in their ranks, the guys in this new en­deav­our knew they had to cre­ate some­thing to live up to their pre­vi­ous work.

“We didn’t know if it was go­ing to sound heavy, like Kowloon Walled City,” says Mike, “or more like melodic like Thrice, or more ag­gres­sive like the stuff I used to do in Curl Up And Die. For­tu­nately, we just messed around and let it hap­pen or­gan­i­cally; it was kind of cool, be­cause it’s ended up sound­ing like none of those bands.”

What it does

sound like can be heard on Less Art’s de­but al­bum, Stran­gled Light, a record that takes the sound of early-00s post-hard­core and fuses it with am­bi­ent pas­sages and mas­sive dol­lops of squeal­ing feed­back and pum­melling riffs. It’s a world away from wacky base­ball puns and sim­ple grind­core done for the hell of it; it feels like a record with much more on its mind.

“We still wanna have fun, but this is a darker, more se­ri­ous record,” Mike con­tin­ues. “I want to get the things out that I don’t re­ally un­der­stand about my­self and the world around me.”

In fact, un­for­tu­nately for us all, the dark and de­press­ing sce­nar­ios his lyrics paint on Wan­der­ing Ghost have proved prophetic.

“Amer­ica was not where it is at now,” sighs Mike. “We recorded be­fore the results of the elec­tion and it’s weird to see how the record came out be­cause it was kind of writ­ten about my fears of what could hap­pen and now it just looks like an ac­count of what has hap­pened. It’s very odd.”

With this in mind, it’s hard to see why they picked the name Less Art, when feed­ing their artis­tic and cre­ative flair seems to be the band’s pri­mary goal.

“The band name is a quote from Shake­speare,” Mike ex­plains. “‘Less art, more mat­ter’ – that was the in­spi­ra­tion for this mu­sic. Get to the stuff, less mess­ing around. For me, as a vo­cal­ist, it was about be­ing more di­rect in­stead of goof­ing around.”

No mess­ing in­deed. Less Art are se­ri­ous, and se­ri­ously good.


Less Art have hit a home run

with their first re­lease

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