Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Full Surrender is an acoustic screamo band

November 9, 2003

Full Surrender is an acoustic screamo band. They are probably the only acoustic screamo band on the planet. This does not mean they do not rock. This three-song demo has much rock on it. It will shock and awe you (yes, I totally used a dead cliché right there).

“The Long Goodbye” starts off in a dramatic, sweeping way, comparable to the opening melody of a movie. It’s the perfect opening. FS features two acoustic guitars, but at first glance it is hard to tell if the melody is one extremely complex guitar part or two guitars. That’s how tight they are instrumentally. Since these are acoustic guitars, there are some strikingly beautiful moments, such as the majority of “Monochrome”. But pretty is not all they are. They can bang out some pretty ominous and hectic rhythms on their guitars too, as in the furious, all-out ending of “The Long Goodbye”. The percussion is nothing to sniffle at either. Percussion assists in a way not often seen in bands, taking a front seat in some places (especially the chorus of “On Soldiers and Enemies”). The eclectic collection of percussion instruments (hand drums, hand snare, and cymbals) is fresh, and takes this band to a whole new level of musicality. The three singers who compliment the instruments hit some great harmonies occasionally, but usually they stick to one or two people singing at once. Their screamer is used in moderation, enough that their genre can clearly be labeled screamo and but not often enough to turn off people who just like acoustic music.

Their methods, instruments, and music are unconventional, but that’s what makes this so amazing. They mix many odd and seemingly impossible elements together cohesively. It is elegant and sweeping where it should be, and fierce and intense in others. And all crammed into just three songs. No one’s ever done this before, to my knowledge. That means they’re pioneers of a genre. And how often can you say that in the overpopulated scene of today?


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Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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