Perennial – “Autumn leaf symmetry”
Written by Emmanuel Castillo (@thebruiseonwe)
Perennial The progression is fun to watch on multiple levels: on the musical side, they continue to deliver the smart, danceable, high-energy punk spirit, but on the aesthetic level, the creative rush reminds you how much fun a group is supposed to be. The constant tweaking of their songs gives the impression that the restless band is always striving for something better than last time, and in reworking an old collection of songs on… Autumn leaves symmetryThey acknowledge that the best you can do at any given moment is a shifting goal. Indeed, there’s something postmodern in the approach to the EP – if the perfect pop song can mix familiarity and surprise, Perennial takes that to its next logical conclusion by making you aware of the form but not necessarily the presentation, which is an approach Certainly informed by jazz without overstating its high-brow pretensions. Instead of expanding in search of a new sublime, Perennial decided to focus their presentation on lethal doses of speed and precision, where every wrinkle presented a new opportunity for a big hit and every sharp hook a chance to hook newcomers.
The shift in focus is immediately apparent on the opening/title track ‘The Leaves of Autumn Symmetry’, there’s the usual promise of a roaring time indicated by the bouncing guitars, but it’s played over a collage of overlapping vocals. The momentary anesthesia gives way to a relentless stabbing-like kick in the face. What sounds like four on the floor drumming is used to excellent effect throughout Will Mulhern To smooth out transitions as he breaks up the rhythm and prolongs it with jaw-dropping finesse. The intensity starts high, but fortunately, this is not a band that finds intensity and pleasure mutually exclusive. They retain their sense of fun, as the synths that make sounds like a slide whistle blare through the song without regard to the vocal arrangement, an attention-grabbing moment before the tune is cemented in your memory once and for all.
This penchant for surprising sounds keeps each song engaging by blurring the lines of recording genre. when Chad Jewett He scrapes and rips the strings on the bridge on “Fauves,” and the effect is less abrasive than stimulating, the metallic guitar tones having a nice popping timbre to one side of the headphones amid the chaos and noise of the track. It’s something you can imagine doing in a live setting, but it’s been repurposed as something more abstract than just the energy injection that might be in a live setting. It feels like a reconsideration of elements whose functionality or enjoyment may have eluded you the first time around when you couldn’t hear them as well, or a proposal to arrive at these elements with a new understanding of the sonic assembly you’re doing. It’s the kind of free, breathless association that the band inspires. They are driven by ideas and have figured out how to explore every angle without compromising any of their sensibilities or hindering their creativity either by their own influences or the norms of the DIY scene in which they work.
“Hippolyta!” It feels like it could have been an inspiration for the whole project, even though it’s not the title track; There are few changes to the arrangement and apart from fidelity it is very similar to the original. The effect of the re-recording is absolutely stunning – instantly, the programmed kick drum that opens the track puts it in a different world to the original, less basement frenzy and more club noise, while also being an immersive headphone listen. There is a wide range of textures that, when played appropriately loud, remind you that sound is a physical sensation and not just an auditory hallucination. when Chelsea Hahn and Chad Jewett invoke the title in unison, and the texture of their voices against each other seems to convey more than just singing in harmony. The programmed kick into the real kick in a mysterious bass sound practically orchestral in its arrangement, and is equally impressive for its economy of movement as it is ordered and focused in every new sense.
It seems intentional that the title in its original and inverted form connotes the passage of time and the pleasure of cycles, of repeating something enough so that you can anticipate your favorite part. The EP sequence mimics the source LP sequence, apart from upgrading “The Leaves of Autumn Symmetry” to the opener; A collection of the past to create a future and new memories. The EP was created as a headphone experience, but like a lot of what Perennial does, it ends up being an invitation — into their shows, to recontextualize things so they’re interesting again, and to engage with what you love as much as possible. The thesis is the same as before, the challenge of creativity, and it is present in the first track: “Make Me New.” Always want the music to facilitate communication, and they take the time to make sure every swing is a successful outcome.