Friday 4 February 2022

Truman - Ma Doi

Labels: Middle-Man Records/Zegema Beach Records

Format: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 05 Apr 2017


1. These Struggles Only Result In Sharper Misery

2. An Erroneous Display, A Reflection Contrived

3. Augmentation Through Removal

I've literally been sitting here for twenty minutes trying to process something that I received in the post today. Not that it was particularly exciting or anything but because to be honest, it annoyed me. I won't go into details because I'll end up ranting this whole review, but I wish a certain non-denominational religious group would stop sending me unsolicited letters.

Anyway, semi-rant over and welcome back to another ZBR roster review. I'm slowly making my way through these but I do have a schedule laid out now, so they should become more frequent over the next few weeks. This review features what turned out to be the last release from US screamo band Truman. What's mind-blowing is that even now (four+ years after it's release) copies still exist for sale. Only 175 copies were released of this three song goodbye.

I’m going to my first post-pandemic gig tomorrow. It’s a big step but one I’m looking forward to. I guess the last two years have made us a little bit more insular, so breaking out of that cycle will take time. Thankfully time is on my side this evening and being able to appreciate and enjoy simple pleasures like music helps. ‘These Struggles Only Result In Sharper Misery’ resonates with me as a song-title and Truman’s mix of melody and tortured vocals are no different. Just the way everything gets heavier and more intense as the song progresses is magnificent, while the emotion and catharsis flows out of it, creating something properly cleansing. 

‘An Erroneous Display, A Reflection Contrived’ bares an approach of similar intensity, focusing on Truman’s ability to write music that twists and turns violently, while still being cohesive and together. It’s that perfect mix of emo, screamo and black metal. Dissonant at times, it sounds a lot more complex than it is. The wall of sound propelled at you is infectious.

Closing song ‘Augmentation Through Removal’ accentuates Truman’s multi-vocal approach and is the heaviest of the three on Ma Doi. It’s a lot more off-kilter yet when things settle down and stringed tones take over, it becomes a lot calmer. Bands that experiment and step outside of genre confines are heralded now more than ever, yet it’s been going on throughout history. Hearing Truman do this with the help of fellow Richmond, Virginia artist Yaya is an example of that. The strings add a new element to the music, one that’s warming and comforting.

In a time when it only takes one song to make or break a band, people’s attention spans are waning. Here are three songs that will have you transfixed even if the souls that created them are silent (for now). Beautifully addictive.

You can stream and Ma Doi as a name-your-price download from Truman's bandcamp below (after all, it is bandcamp Friday):-

Truman -

Tape copies are still available via the below links:-

Middle-Man Records -

Zegema Beach Records USA -

Middle-Man Records -

Zegema Beach Records -

No comments:

Post a Comment