REVIEW: Sort By Title – Independent Process

Artist: Sort By Title
Album: Independent Process
Genre: Metalcore
Label: Unsigned

When the battery on my iPod dies, I lose my mind just a little bit, music has become a sort of addition, a full-fledged addiction really, to the point where it’s just there to make everything feel normal; it’s pretty much white noise at this point, but without this white noise, I feel weird, the silence feels wrong. So apparently music has gone all heroin-y on me. It’s like trying to fall asleep that first night after turning off my fan by my bed at the end of summer, with that constant, comforting whir of the fan, the silence is piercing. So i’m just always listening to something, whether I’m falling asleep, working, driving, riding my motorcycle anywhere and everywhere, and I hardly even notice anymore. It’s just there, not demanding any attention, nor am I giving any, but if it were gone, I wouldn’t be able to ignore it. Some bands are more prone to amounting to simple white noise than others, and I’m not talking about spacey, minimalist bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor either, I’m talking about bands that are just plain boring. I’d much rather listen to Godspeed than those bands. Then again, I’d rather listen to Godspeed than just about anything, but that isn’t neither here nor there. When I began to listen to Independent Process by Sort By Title, I was anticipating another one of those white noise albums. At first, I wasn’t entirely wrong, I was immediately unimpressed, it sounded like every other band that didn’t manage to stick out in my mind, just sitting in the background; another band not to be remembered, nor to make much of an impact on me in any long term sense.

I couldn’t help but become paralytically bored with Independent Process from the beginning. Rather prematurely, I should point out, but first impressions are important. I was thoroughly unimpressed by “Into The Depths”, the first song on the album, the screams were quite good; uniquely distressed and absolutely piercing, but on this particular song, the product as a whole fell short. My less than enthusiastic attitude towards the first song is what made the next song, “Betrayed by the Sun” surprise me in such a huge way. It was fantastic, the shifts in dynamics were enormous, yet nearly seamless, and the breakdown was actually interesting, which hardly any band can pull off anymore, and of course, the screams were still unreal. I wasn’t quite sure how such a polarizing shift was possible, but if the first song was the soul blemish on this album, I wouldn’t hesitate to redact all my previous negative comments. But I wasn’t entirely wrong, another colossal shift occurred with “Insanity”, which was too predictable, and sort of uninspired, especially when compared to “Betrayed by the Sun”, which made this album even more strange. Which of course, got even weirder when the next song, “Stuck on the Curb”, proved to be quite impressive, living up to the standards set by “Betrayed by the Sun” flawlessly. The whole album pretty much flip-flopped in such a manner, which no apparent reason, shirting between hugely impressive songs, and songs that are just kind of there. It was quite an odd phenomena, and sort of irritating, to say the least.

I can’t say I’ve ever come across an album that is quite this bipolar before, some of the songs are great, some of them simply aren’t. What confuses me though, is that the good songs, are really quite good, meaning they aren’t a bad band, but I guess I was just hoping the rest of the album would showcase that potential. But on the positive side, after hearing “Into The Depths”, I really wasn’t expecting all that much, and Independent Process turned out to be much better than I thought it would be, though still rather perplexing all the same. But given that the whole album didn’t turn out to be white noise, I’d call that a win.

SCORE: 7/10
Reviewed by: Mike Hogan

James Shotwell
Latest posts by James Shotwell (see all)
Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.