Release: Tape / Digital
Label: Bus Stop Press
Based in the town of Toulon in Southern France, the three piece started by Clément Jeunet (also of Bökanövsky, Child Meadow and Grand Detour), play a cathartic and desperate brand of crusty screamo that could prove popular with fans of European bands in the genre.
Although originally released digitally in February 2020, it saw a cassette release via Marseille-based Bus Stop Press in October of the same year.
Across the six tracks on offer, the band use d-beats, soaring epic highs and brooding melodic passages to create a vital and desperate sound that demands your attention. Although the production on this self-recorded demo isn’t pristine, those accustomed to DIY screamo and hardcore will easily be able to forgive its sonic imperfections as their accomplished musicianship is undeniable, even if it’s not crystal clear.
One thing that stands out in that respect is the drumming, the lightning fast fills, executed with mechanical precision are jaw dropping. Such great drumming put me at ease enough to fully enjoy the record, knowing that it’s not going to descend into any kind of sloppiness that can sometimes be present in hastily recorded demos sometimes tainting a first impression from a new band. This demo does not suffer from that, at all.
There isn’t a single bad track on here, but if I had to choose highlights, the first would be opener “À qui la rue?”, the subtle opening notes lead into a storm of crashing cymbals and rolling toms as the multiple screams build the song to the record’s first climax; a blast-beat/two-step trade off that rounds off into a noisy breakdown.
Another highlight comes in the form of closer “Les murs blancs”, the four tracks in between are killer too, but on this one, the band take an interesting turn. The beginning sees them at their most slight and delicate before gearing up into a verse that feels almost joyous and wouldn’t sound massively out of place on a Touché Amoré record. The last stretch of the track and the record really caught my attention, using one of their strongest attributes in their highly capable drummer to finish on a jaunty beat covered in jangly guitars, which shows another side of their musical personality just before they abruptly leave us.
Although I only go into detail on a couple of songs, this demo is full of highlights and definitely deserves a listen and if this is anything to go by then Rijeka have a bright future ahead of them.