Sound — 9
Their popularity is partly the result of the success of UK band The Horrors (don't mix up with their music is the result of The Horrors!) Just like them Schoolyard Heroes will try to scary us with tales about dead, haunting sounds and gross pictures. But the difference is obvious -- Heroes are much more pleasant to listen to and have more melody. Abominations is their highly anticipated third album -- the band started recording in January and the final result took them time another to make a baby! The songs are so intense and carry so much energy that the album grabs you by the balls from the very first track. The band is blending metal with punk and tango. The result is furious! The albums starts with cheerful hand claps in the beginning of Dude, Where's My Skin? by the friends of the band. To vary the music, Schoolyard Heroes also asked for help with occasional piano and a chilling all-female choir. Even though the music seems pretty chaotic at first listen, it's quite harmonized and every break-down or solo is there for a reason. Everything is so solid that you almost don't notice what's going on with instruments, taking all parts as a whole. Only listening to the album for the fifth time you start to realize that steal guitars prevail and the guitar work is actually pretty awesome. Producer John Goodmanson, famous for his works with Blondie, Sleater-Kinney, The Gossip, managed to make the tracks sound horrifying and seductive at the same time.
Lyrics — 9
The band tells the listener stories as grim as walks in the dark forest at night. They promise that I am the devil and to Separate the skin from bone. The tales are perfectly performed by a vocalist, whose ferociously voice makes you creep. Ryann Donnelly sure took a lesson from such outstanding singers as Karen O and Shirley Manson. She sings in a hysterical voice all through the album, screams, yells, but surprisingly it doesn't irritate you. At the same time she demands all your attention, leaving all other sounds on the background. Bassist Jonah Bergman in rare duets makes her a nice company.
Overall Impression — 9
There are parts of metal or punk, popping up here and there on the record, but it would be too pop for metal lovers and too heavy for punks. It's a great album only for one category of people -- those who love experiments and something interesting. Other than that the music creates some kind of vintage atmosphere, leaving you with a feeling that you just took part in a secret ceremony or visited a cabaret of murders. The album meets all your expectations (you, experimental ones) and it is one of those cases when you can listen from the beginning to the end. Undoubtedly vocalist Ryann Donnelly is the strongest side of the band and it's shtick.