Sharp Veins is a New York-based producer who we introduced with the EP bleeds colors and puddles. Now he has announced the release of his first full-lenght. Armor Your Actions Up In Quest is out on September 18th via UNO NYC. According to the press release, it is a fantastical menagerie of gloriously motivated and uninhibited technicolour noise. Check the first excerpt “Therapist Wrestle“.
“These are synthetic rock/metal approximations, emo indie into post-grunge played by automation, straight-synth-power-pop, and new wave sped up. It’s harshness for the sake of harshness, asynchronous manipulated sample scree and wavering experimentalism. It’s shlocky shredding, histrionics, wailing vocals, huge drums and bulbous bass. It’s a dinky pocket orchestra and triumphant trance drama. It’s cheesy songs imagined for an arena, and it’s a lullaby”, describes King.
As evident from the fantasy yarn cover painting by artist Dan Seagrave (who’s renowned for providing sleeve art to the likes of Morbid Angel, Entombed, Pestilence, Rivers Of Nihil and The Devil Wears Prada), King explains the following: “The album is about making the smallest of actions into a quest. Because you’re so full of ennui and the grander escapades of your life seem meaningless, you resort back to this childish idea (and it’s a great idea) of everything being exciting and new and a potential adventure.”
Expanding on the quest idea, King proclaims, “it’s a striving for energy, for curiosity, for scatterbrained sublimity. It’s music that sounds like someone giving their all, diving across the ﬁnish line only to collapse, barely breathing, spent and used, but useful. You’ve got to try.”
“I revisited and analysed new and old records, most of which weren’t electronic, front to back, and eventually, I ﬁgured, ‘fuck it, I might as well elucidate sonic intentions’: I wanted to make conspicuously plastic, garbled and mismatched music; pieces that, added together, amounted to something garish and bursting”, he says, recalling inspirations and aspirations, also adding the following on process and motivation:
“These cartoonish versions of established and appreciated rock ‘n’ metal tropes are reduced to their strata, mixed and matched, strained to MIDI and forcibly ripped and pasted back together with no regard for tastefulness. It seemed like a good way to at once overcome writer’s block and turn my nose up at the notions of musical purity that were consistently giving me ﬁts of imposter syndrome.”
In addition to prog-like like levels of adventurous muso virtuosity meeting a naive childlike sense of wonder sonically and instrumentally, an equal level of enthusiastic striving was applied to the voice and vernacular:
“Harmonies were important, as I was scared of having vocals be bare, but in the spirit of honesty, I left all the cracks and squeaks in, albeit behind layers of processing. Having a variety of voices on the record was a necessity too, seeing as I wanted to do a lot of genre exploration. Plus a lot of my favourite singers go all over the place”, explains King.
Lyrically our protagonist explores “the bittersweet and the upbeat paired with the depressive, machismo and the male ego. Also connecting with people (or failing to), loneliness, internet addiction and attempts at staying optimistic in the face of the daily stressors – large and small – that erode you.”