July 19, 2006

Review: Envy | Insomniac Doze

Envy -- Insomniac DozeA superficial assessment of Japanese quintet Envy's forthcoming set might conclude that the band is something of a two-trick pony, melding former tourmate Mogwai's elegant and bombastic post-whatever with emo/screamo lyrics rendered in Japanese. And while this assessment is not completely without merit, it comes up short. Envy's marked edge means the band could be just as readily deemed a melodic screamo band that embraces epic, orchestrated compositions. As such, the post-rock tag or the even more simplistic "like Mono if Mono had vocals" tag does the band a bit of a disservice, particularly considering Envy's floor-length discography and 15-year history of making aggressive music.

All that said, the inclination to lump the Japanese act's less nuanced and ornate music with that of relative newcomers Mogwai (the latter group formed several years after the former) is at least understandable, given the bands' paths have crossed on more than one occasion. According to Envy's Wikipedia page, in addition to the two bands having toured together, vocalist Tetsuya Fukagawa is featured on Mogwai's "I Chose Horses" (a cut from the Scottish band's most recent set Mr. Beast) and Insomniac Doze will be issued on Mogwai's Rock Action label in the U.K. Even so, the stylistic differences, or at least somewhat different production values, between Envy and its post-rock contemporaries aren't hard to discern.

According to the Temporary Residence Ltd. message boards, Envy's Insomniac Doze streets Sept. 12. Envy embarks on an 11-date American tour next month; full dates are here. Below is an MP3 of the cut "Further Ahead Of The Warp," a tune that illustrates both Envy's gentle reveries and screamy proclamations, often within seconds of eachother. We are particularly fond of the cut "Crystallize," so keep an eye out for that out on the Internets or look forward to its ten minutes of glory until September rolls around.

Envy -- "Further Ahead Of The Warp" -- Insomniac Doze
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[Buy Insomniac Doze from Temporary Residence here when it goes on sale]

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