Review: Do It With Malice

Artist: Do It With Malice
Album: Symphonic Homicide

Download it here

Do It With Malice is a five piece band from Buffalo, New York with roots in ska, metal, punk, jazz and various other genres. Symphonic Homicide is the band’s debut full-length album. The band recently came back from a year-long hiatus and is now back in full swing writing and searching out shows.

Sound / Musicianship

Overall, Symphonic Homicide is well-constructed and unique listen. The band includes a variety of sounds in throughout the album: songs such as “Paranoid” and “Mark My Words” show a heavy amount of metal influence while “That’s What She Said” follows a punk / ska sound and “Blind” displays elements of jazz and straight up rock. The musicians in the group flow from one style to the next with very little effort and construct one of the most developed listens in today’s music scene.

The album features a large horn section (trumpet, trombone, and baritone, tenor, and alto saxophone all play at one point or another), though now the band only has a multi-talented wind player I believe. The use of the horns is of consistent quality but not overwhelming; often the horn lines back the choruses or bridges without stealing the attention from the crafty vocals. The main melodies are well-developed and show a significant amount of thought has gone into them. “Malicious Intent” starts the album and is purely instrumental and one of the clearest examples of how the horns work on different levels with various polyrhythms and harmonies. “Paranoid,” “Symphonic Homicide,” and “That Guy” feature exceptionally unique phrasing by the horns. Some creative use of horns on the album also include double tracking of the same saxophone, and the use of more horns than the band was physically able to play at one time.

The guitar work and the overall work done by the rhythm section is stellar. Although the band has two guitarists now, the album features a single guitarist creating guitar parts that incorporate elements of the rhythm and lead guitarist very well. Heavy riffing is shared in the same breath with clean, thoughtful chord progressions. A variety of rhythms are used for the clean guitar parts which is a plus because many ska bands resort to similar strumming patterns song after song. The drums are on spot and definitely set the base for the rest of the band while standing out at the proper times. The bass lines are exceptional and show a high level of talent on the instrument. Watch a video of this band to understand.

I don’t have much to say of the singing, but it also comes to an impressive level. Much of it is actually quite fast but done without the difficulty that most singers seem to have. The words flow very well and many of the songs have catchy lyrics throughout all the parts of the songs.

With all of these positive points, there are two distinct negative aspects that stood out when listening to this album. Although the guitar work is very well thought out, some of the tones that were chosen for the album are somewhat annoying and at times do not fit well in aspects of the song. At times, songs such as “Paranoid” and “Symphonic Homicide” create awkward transitions from heavy to clean. Also, there is a lead saxophone track that is on the album of which the tone can be annoying. It is obvious the tone was achieved on purpose, but to some it may come off as almost whiny.

Quality / Originality

The overall quality of the album is high. The musicianship is clear and the thought that has gone into this album is apparent. None of the tracks appear to have any mistakes on them, and on a purely aural level, all the tracks are well mixed and thought has been placed into how many tracks are on the album. I find this album to be highly original among other bands in the ska, punk, and even metal scene. Most of the songs are catchy, though still creative, and each are worth listening to on the album. My only complaint of all the songs is that “Blind” is a rather generic compared to the rest of the album. It’s rather straightforward going back between verses and choruses with only a solo section to provide a break.

Overall Impression

Personally, this is one of my favorite albums of any local band put out anywhere, in any musical genre. I’ve listened to every song well over fifty times and still find each one to be interesting and worth my time. I am honestly surprised this band is not more well known because there is so much appeal to the band. I would recommend this album to anybody and nearly have only positive comments for it. Some of the tones take a getting used to, but once overcome, you will find yourself listening to a quality album

– Ryan

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One Response to “Review: Do It With Malice”

  1. Mr. Danger Says:

    This band trounces. They put on a killer live show dispite their lineup changes from the album. Very, Very good

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