steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"Black Box Theatre" CDR-EP


Genres: rock, prog rock, emo

Tesknota c/o Adam Lazarewicz
285 Clifton St.
Malden, MA 02148

Sep 3 - 8 2002

I'll have to admit, I wasn't expecting much from this release. Call me prejudiced, but the cover art looked a little silly. I was expecting some poor wannabe nu-metal crap or something. Stupid me.

So here's how it works. The Black Box Theatre is a three-song EP that also doubles as a three-part story. The first track, "Tidal," is a spacey, chaotic track that serves as the first chapter of the story, where an airplane is sent crashing into the ocean. The instrumentation is fantastic, with cataclysmic drumming and excellent guitar solos, but the vocals seem a little too whiny. "Updates On All Our Beloved Citizens" is the next section in the tale, an eleven-minute epic about the recovery of the plane's black box; the passengers' "last link to the world" of you will. It's something of a sporadic track, building up and slowing down multiple times throughout it's duration, and the vocals aren't as prominent on it. "The Subtleties Of Breathing In A Vacuum" is the final part in our journey, and it acts as a conclusive summation of the story, depicting the ill-fated passengers as being "immortalized through words."

So there's lots of good here; the instrumentation is complex yet tight, the mood is very dark and powerful, and the three-part story is delightfully prog-esque. That said, there are a few downsides, as well. Sometimes the unstable composition can get to be a bit annoying, and the lyrics can, at times, sound as if the band is trying a bit too hard to be poetic, but that's all permissible for a first effort, especially when the rest of it is so well-done.

All in all, it's a bit tricky to describe Tesknota's work. There are definitely some similarities between this and The Get-Up Kids buried in here, and a strong Radiohead influence is prevalent as well. And there's no way to doubt the band's prog-rock tendencies, either. Perhaps they've invented something new... progressive emo, anyone?


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 29 min 31 sec; 3 tracks; distributed by the band; released 2002]