With the recent surge of melodic post-hardcore, thanks to releases from Touché Amoré, Deafheaven, La Dispute, and Pianos Become the Teeth in the past two years, it’s been a breath of fresh air to see this new era of unmatched creativity and willingness to experiment. Frameworks clearly wanted to get in on the action. While Frameworks is definitely the most spastic of the bunch, they are also the most dynamic. Their debut album “Loom” shows off the potential that has been building around them since their first EP “Every Day is the Same” was presented to the scene in 2011. Frameworks caught the attention of Alternative Press and were featured in their “AP&R” section, as an upcoming unsigned act that revealed their formation was driven by the fact that they “really wanted to find an efficient way to waste a lot of money, quit our jobs and drop out of school.” Hailing from the musical hotbed that is Gainesville, Florida, which has produced acts such as Less Than Jake, Against Me!, and Hot Water Music, the “tropical screamo” five-piece are making their case that they should be mentioned in the conversation when talking about the southern city.
Frameworks enlisted Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Joyce Manor) to produce “Loom” which proved to be a perfect fit for both parties. Shirley’s presence is immediately felt on the opening track “Disquiet”, clocking in at just 23 seconds, with an acoustic guitar strumming among the opening of doors and background whistles. The album shows off a raw, yet superb quality, with guitars full of depth and drums that are felt strongly with every hit. Vocalist Luke Pate flails his voice across the remaining ten songs with such sentiment, that it doesn’t even matter that you can barely understand what’s coming out of his mouth; much in the way George Clark’s vocals are felt on Deafheaven’s “Sunbather”. Yet Pate’s angst and despair are felt, whether you can understand him or not.
Frameworks display their love for trialing in every track. The title track breaks down into a convulsive period of confusion, where the listener cannot be even sure that a guitar could sound such a way. “True Wealth” finishes with a guitar lick played in reverse that instantly lulls you in, with a methodical drum pattern guiding you right to the end. “Rosie” contains some of the most intensive drumming in the album, layered over distorted bass that grabs you and doesn’t want to let go. “Bright and New” begins with a beat that will have you bopping your head back and forth, then takes you through a series of chaotic verses, only to let you down gently with a shoegaze inspired ending that will have you saying “how the hell did this end up here?”
The instrumentals conveyed by Frameworks aren’t the only imaginative aspect of the album. Pate has stated that “Loom” is largely a concept album, debating the idea that he himself will look out of his window and realize that he won’t be able to have the chance to interact with most of the people that pass, and how this idea looms over him. However, the concept isn’t solely felt in the lyrics, as the songs themselves go from upbeat and energetic to a heavier and darker section, only to come back full circle to a more uplifting tone with the album closer, “Agreeable Thoughts”, which begins with what appears to be the sound of rain underneath some of the nicest sounding, reverb immersed guitar and builds up until the album perfectly comes to a close.
“Loom” seems to have what it takes to become an instant classic for screamo and post-hardcore fans of all types. It has tracks that appeal to the fans of heavy, dark hardcore, while also appealing to fans of melodic chaos. Frameworks may be rookies in the scene as far as full-length albums go, but are by no means rookies to making well thought out, imaginative music.
“Loom” is available on April 29 and comes courtesy of Topshelf Records. You can catch them on tour through May alongside Gates and Tiny Moving Parts.