The United Sons of Toil – Until Lions Have Their Historians, Tales of the Hunt Shall Always Glorify the Hunter

The United Sons of Toil – Until Lions Have Their Historian, Tales of Hunt Shall Always Glorify the Hunter

The United Sons of Toil – Until Lions Have Their Historian, Tales of Hunt Shall Always Glorify the Hunter

The United Sons of Toil jerry-rigs scavenged parts of noise and math rock into a functional, albeit rough ride. This workman’s version of post-hardcore echoes the mid 90’s Midwest music scene. The band’s rough approach communicates a humble DIY feel that succeeds when it comes in small doses.

Until Lions Have Their Historians, Tales of the Hunt Shall Always Glorify the Hunter features 8 no-frills, sweat stained songs that yaw, pitch, and roll to rumbling bass lines and cutting riffs. Shouted lyrics, mostly unintelligible, and persistent drumming round out the band’s sound, that honest lack of refinement. You get the feeling that this sound probably wouldn’t change much even through a 15-20 year career–for better or worse.

Until Lions Have Their Historians… begins with “The Treaty of the New Echota”, a gritty, grinding tune with the same mechanized aggression that marks most of The United Sons of Toil’s songs. “Signing Contracts, Building Stockades” ups the ante with extra momentum drawn from 1980’s hardcore. The song’s brevity is a blessing. Unfortunately, no such grace exists on “The Forced March of Manifest Destiny”, a song that goes too long, even though it stops short of three and a half minutes. In that time, its staccato formations and noise rock sensibilities begin to wear thin. Next, the guitars on “White King, Red Rubber, Black Death” run through a nice range of sounds, but, ultimately, too much repetition holds this one back.

While the early tracks represent the band well, the best of Until Lions Have Their Historians… comes with the second half of the album. “Invention vs. Innovation” hits stride early with a powerful groove. This groove is picked up by the snare drum that segues into some handy rhythm work. “Invention vs. Innovation” has solid energy, and engages ears through simple guitar dissonance, multiple part and rhythm changes, and a skillful use of dynamics. The song does threaten to lose its center during the high-end riffing near the end. Nevertheless, the band pulls it off.

After a full minute of guitar noise and feedback, “A Spectre is Haunting Europe” delivers a refreshing instrumental approach. Complimentary guitar parts toy with melody and dissonance, but then drop awkwardly into an ill-advised slow groove. But this unsuccessful transition is overcome once the vocals begin. This is one of the album’s better tracks, despite the bad transition and unnecessary parts. “The Irish Problem” also kicks through some good grooves and start-stop riffing. There are no spare parts on this song, and the transitions between different rhythms work well.  “Simplify, Simper Fi” hints towards a melodic, pseudo-epic structure, then pitches into a bass riff though the chorus that rolls under some very rough-hewn lyrics. Odd but workable transitions sometimes sound awkward here, but all of the parts on this track eventually work through their repetition. This seems like a bit of force feeding, but it’s a satisfying course altogether.

The United Sons of Toil brings nothing new to the game. Fans of more progressive varieties of noisy, mathy post-hardcore might find a better fit with a band like Young Widows. But for a stripped down, efficient garage sound, check out Until Lions Have Their Historians, Tales of the Hunt Shall Always Glorify the Hunter.