Was It Fear
Foreign Press: Was It Fear? is an amazing record. Take the emotional nature of emo, subtract the whining, add excellent songwriting, and you've got Half Visconte. While it isn't the sing-along pop fix you may have been looking for, Was It Fear? instead is a deep, dark stroll through a world of moody desperation, as guided by four guys from the USA. The first thing you'll notice about this album is it's stubbornness to conform to popular convention. While you'll have your occasional two-and-a-half minute gem, Half Visconte aren't afraid to jump into a slow, quarter-hour epic afterwards to throw you off your balance. Passionate indie rock melodies come effortlessly in the emotional 'A Walking Tour of Trinidad, CO,' while a song like '11' vies for a less accessible instrumental approach. So is the story with Was It Fear? - it's never fit to stay with one style. And while this may seem woefully inconsistent at first, it works wonders in this case, keeping the listener engaged and entertained. So let's hope the members of Half Visconte - who have already persevered and stuck together through moves across the country (the members are now spread out all over the USA) - can stay a band for at least one more album. If Was It Fear? is any indication, HV could be heading towards legendary status - defying musical convention all the way to the indie rock hall of fame. 90% --------------- USA Press: The problem with Half Visconte is that each member of the band is completely irreplaceable. If the band could just try a little harder to be like everybody else, perhaps they could have just found a new bass player when Ben Taylor moved to Chicago. Perhaps they could have recruited a new drummer when Dan Sylvester left town too. Perhaps they could have gotten a new singer/guitarist when Scott Tennent made is way to New York City. I mean, come on, the very least they (at this point 'they' was just singer/guitarist Richard Minardi) could have done is conform to the indie rock norm and just broken up (allow me to cite the fifth amendment of the indie rock constitution: upon releasing a good album, bands must break up and become 'ex-members' to heighten the coolness and allure of said album). But there goes Half Visconte, bucking the indie rock cliché and sticking together in spite of the distance. Spread out across the country, Half Visconte has still managed to produce their first official full-length album, Was It Fear, to be released on Sunset Alliance. The new album is a fluid step forward from their previous releases (s/t CDEP and split 7'with Death of Marat on This Argonaut Records, as well as their appearance on Not One Light Red: A Modified Document, released jointly by Sunset Alliance and This Argonaut). It is an amalgam of studio experimentation, strong songwriting, and dynamic, explosive improvisation. Was It Fear starts with a bang, ends with a whisper, and bristles with anxiety in between. It¹s an urgent record. A document of nervy intensity. The sound of Half Visconte is undeniably the unique combination of it's four members. It's some mysterious chemical reaction, apparently not detected in any single member, as demonstrated by the direction each takes on their own when not part of Half Visconte. Drummer, Dan Sylvester, is a trained jazz percussionist and lives in Chicago. He has also been a member of Kind of Like Spitting (Polyvinyl) and more recently Nad Navillus (Jagjaguwar), among other projects. Singer/Guitarist Scott Tennent owned and operated Phoenix's premier all ages/DIY performance space, Modified, from 1999-2001 before getting married and moving to New York City. He is currently putting together a solo album full of downer pop songs (one song, 'Follow Through No. 1' appears on Not One Light Red: A Modified Document). Singer/Guitarist Richard Minardi lives in Phoenix and is a steady presence on the music scene there, playing in not one, not two, but three bands (at last count): Thee Apologies, Scramjet, Trans-go-jobot, and of course Dick Sinister & the Sinister Dicks. Ben Taylor has holed himself up in a closet in Chicago in order to create new directions in electronic music.