Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Via Fondo - Efter, Utan Under


Labels: Through Love Records/Tokyo Jupiter Records/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital

Release Date: 11 May 2014


Tracklist:


1. Avstangd

2. Var Inte Radd, Min Van

3. Jag Vill Anda Vakna

4. Januari

5. Vita Staket

6. Isolerat Kall

7. Morkret

8. Strategi


I realised the other day that I hadn't done one of these for over a week (I promised myself I'd write one Zegema Beach Records roster review each week), so instead you're gonna get two over the coming days. One tonight and one over the weekend, in between a myriad of newer releases. It's been a strange few days as since 23rd of Jan, each day has seen blog views rise well beyond the 1,000 mark and I want to make sure that keeps happening, not for any personal gain (I've been told in no uncertain terms that I can't monetise the blog because it contains 'too many swear words') but because it means that more people are checking out the bands I'm writing about.


Anyway, enough about me and more about tonight's centrepiece. Efter, Utan Under was(or is) the first and only full-length to come from Sweden's Via Fondo. After an initial digital self-release back in May 2014, the album saw a full vinyl release thanks to both Through Love Records (EU) and Zegema Beach Records (CAN/USA) a little later on, alongside a CD release from Tokyo Jupiter Records (JPN). 


It’s not often that I start a review close to or past the 8pm mark (mainly due to my own laziness) but I’ve gone a few days without writing and I wanted to remedy that. Being pretty at ease with life right now, despite the current lockdown and waiting for five records to arrive, sinking into more music only makes sense. Via Fondo is a band that I’ve reviewed here in the past, though that was a few years ago now. Back then it was the Fast EP that caught my attention, which was released in the same year as Efter, Utan Under


Opening song ‘Avstangd’ is melodic yet slightly jagged screamo/post-hardcore with percussion and guitar raised up in the mix, and vocals lower down. It’s mid-paced for the most part but there are occasional fast bits as well. I love how the tempo of ‘Var Inte Radd, Min Van’ gets faster even before the full band kicks in. It isn’t a song that sticks around very long though it’s groove and steadiness later on make it one to dance too, if that’s your thing! It’s infectious in the same way that Refused and The Hives are, while being completely separated from both of those comparisons.


‘Jag Vill Anda Vakna’ presents a vey different atmosphere thanks the higher-pitched, semi-clean vocals employed during it’s first half. They really compliment Via Fondo’s music and even when the harsher vocals join in, they’re still prominent. The song’s latter half is instrumental and it builds a whole heap of anticipation for what’s to come. That anticipation leads to the album’s longest, grandest track ‘Januari’, which is a slightly more caustic take on Via Fondo’s screamo with subtle crust elements hidden within the music in places. There’s something really organic and innocent about this album and it’s encompassed within this song. So much feeling was put into this release and it leaps out at you on every listen.


‘Vita Staket’ utilises Via Fondo’s very adept melodic and instrumental skill once again, where it’s plain to see that they favour musicality over anything that could be considered lazy and commercial. That should come as no surprise though. Oddly enough, as you get deeper into the second-half of the album, the music becomes slightly more simplistic and ‘Isolerat Kall’ is a mix of lighter passages and crunching hardcore that gives a sense of two sides coming together. The percussion; however, is anything but simplistic and the off-kilter rhythms produced lead you down an ever deeper rabbit hole that should have been spotted much earlier. It’s great!


Penultimate song ‘Morkret’ brings together Via Fondo’s penchant for classy, structured melody and the dissonant hardcore that makes their heavier moments so engrossing, turning it into the catchiest and most listenable song on the album, at least for me. There’s a repetition amongst it’s hooks that really makes you smile, while the post-hardcore backbone keeps everything grounded. Album closer ’Strategi’ is the polar opposite of the song it follows, instead trusting in the band’s punk/crust influences to propel it forwards in a much more chaotic fashion. It’s hard to truly do it justice but there’s no denying it’s ability to energise and galvanise. In short, Efter, Utan Under is still a release to be proud of and while Via Fondo are silent their legacy lives on. Screamo/Post-hardcore bands seem to live fast and die young (so to speak) but in doing so, they leave a much greater impact.


You can stream Efter, Utan Under and download it (name-your-price) below:-



Via Fondo - https://www.facebook.com/viafondo


Physical copies are still available via the below links:-


Through Love Records - https://shop.throughloverec.com/collections/releases/products/via-fondo-efter-utan-under-12-lp

Tokyo Jupiter Records - https://jstore.tokyojupiterrecords.com/


Through Love Records - https://www.facebook.com/ThroughLoveRec

Tokyo Jupiter Records - https://www.facebook.com/tokyojupiter

Zegema Beach Records - https://www.facebook.com/zegemabeachrecords

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