I gotta run, gotta run, gotta run today…
Been watching much Australian TV lately? Then these words will sound very familiar. Apparently you need to showcase your house on a particular website for it to be “visible”. Literally. But I digress. Today’s post is on the band that sang the song for that advert. They are known as COG.
Emo rock music is awesome for studying, especially when you can feel your soul getting sucked right out of your body by the mocking words on your madly scribbled notes. And at 2am, desperately clutching your notes like some druggie clutching onto their joints, shaking your head to some emo rock is the best way to feel even more depressed and isolated. Just what I need.
I find it very interesting that I’m getting more into this emo-rock stuff. Coldrain was an awesome introduction into the world of slightly more alternative rock, and now COG represents a deeper dive into this genre. However, when your lead singer looks like Lao Fu Zi (hopefully my fellow south-east asians understand this reference), the band image might not scream out IMAROCKYOUREMO. But that’s what exactly COG is. Their first album, The New Normal (2005), is anything but normal. It is full on grungy rock music, meant to drag out the isolation in us and bring it to a new level.
I’m not going to review every single song on the album, but just know that they all have the same feel, and that amazing ability to suddenly rip you from the very centre of your own comfort zone and thrust you into the middle of nowhere. The ability to paint an image of wilderness and emptyness around a naked you as you try to fight your way out of the overbearing desolation. Ah, emo at it’s best.
Here are a couple of my favourite songs.
Track 3 – Silence is Violence
This song is definitely not silent. The beginning sounds like some Nickelback opening, then the chords quickly deviate away from any mainstream songs you’ll ever hear. As the chorus approaches, you think the chords are picking up and it builds up your expectation for an awesome chorus. Then it hits, and it’s pure head-shaking gold. You’re gonna have to listen to the song to hear for yourself. Definitely a good studying song…
Track 4 – Resonate
Finally a song that actually sounds half-rock half-emo instead of all emo. Slightly threatening, slightly eclectic, with moments of slowed contemplation. Pretty decent song!
Track 5 – The Spine
Very psychedelic lyrics. Who thinks of things like… “Zeitgeist eye sore, got the price right./Cut to add break, urban fist fight.” Or “September-sylum contradiction./Lifestyle, litmus causing friction.” But other than that, I like how the song gives off a feeling of restlessness, as if trying to run away. Not running away from anything, but just running away for the sake of it.
Track 7 – Run
Now this is the song of the album. This was the song that attracted me to their music. The initial guitar solo is absolutely awesome. The echo effect of the chords overlaid on the despondent silence, beauty. Draws you straight into the mood. And then it begins – “I gotta run, gotta run, gotta run today, I gotta run, gotta run, gotta head along”. Watching the music video totally adds to the mood of the song, as it depicts a detainee’s desperate attempt to run away from his hell, away from the perpetrators of his nightmare. But right from the start you can tell that his past haunts him, and there is no way he can actually run away from it all. Depressing much? Depressing. But it’s so addictive that you can’t stop listening, can’t stop imagining the possibilities, even if it comes crashing down at the end of it all.
Track 8 – The River Song
“You are oooonnn your own again”. Again and again the lead singer repeats this line. And you can’t help but believe it. It’s a long wait through the 1:50minutes of intro (trust me, I almost gave up, and would have missed out on a fantastic song), but it builds up such a bleak scene that you can’t help but to be dragged deeper and deeper into the loop, waiting for the song to begin, waiting for the darkness to envelop you. And when it comes, it’s sweet sweet darkness, with the awesome drum rhythm setting up the uneasiness that accompanies this song. The bitterness in the guitar chords, the sarcasm dripping from the lead’s voice, the turbulent bass, all combine into a darkness that just swallows you up.
Track 10 – Doors (Now & Then My Life Feels Like It’s Going Nowhere)
Yes I know, one of those lame titles that are so you long you feel like pulling your hair out. The beginning is probably enough to induce that too, with 1:10minutes of pure wind-blown loneliness sweeping through your speakers. Then the guitar solo begins, and the journey begins as well. It’s a full 10:15minutes of bleakness, with less than 100 words making up the lyrics. Near the middle, the pace picks up slightly, expressing the anger and impatience in the song, targeted at the generic motif causing so much grief and frustration. But then it slows down again, reflecting the hopelessness of the situation and the helplessness of the human nature. Ahh depressing…
Track 11 – Naming the Elephant
Gotta love the name of this song. Though it contains none of that joy that accompanies naming elephants. This song depicts the repeatability of our daily lives. “You’re late for work, all again./Feels like this life’s slipping away./Try to catch up, all again./Pray to your god, all again.” And how we can’t seem to extricate ourselves from the spiral we’ve spun around our lives. The guitar solo bit at 2.35 just seem to tug inextricably at my heart, as if to remind me of some deep dark past I’ve been trapped in, of a remoteness I was once tangled in. Sounds so familiar, but yet so foreign. And at the end, we’re just waiting, as our lives slip away. “So long I’ve been waiting/slipping away…” and so the song ends.
Voila. And to top it off, I was pleasantly surprised to realise that they were an aussie band. Well after listening to this album, I can’t wait to hear their next album, which was released in 2008. Now for the question that’s been bugging me… should I go catch their live performance? Hmm… Anyway sorry for deviating from the anime theme of this website but I’m still waiting to finish my awesome Shiki before I write anything about it. Which reminds me… the latest episode was bone chilling to the max.
Anyway, ciaos for now, 1 more exam tomorrow and I’ll be freeeee though not for long.