The Devil just like your mother used to make on the second LP from Brandon Williams’ Chastity project. Home Made Satan is a set of emotional, widescreen rock and emo from the Ontario native. Williams mourns The Current State Of Affairs over agonised instrumentals that recall the likes of American Football and early Death Cab To Cutie.
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Back in the 90s the world was smaller. The internet had just started opening up to the average person, and social media was but a glint in Myspace Tom’s eye. If you were going to be emo about something in the 90s, odds are it was going to be about something personal, something introspective. It’s 2019 now and teenagers are depressed about climate change, and capitalism, and the futility of political change. I don’t listen to enough emo to know whether this has caused a wider change in the genre, but topics like those have certainly found their way into Brandon Williams’ lyrics on 'Home Made Satan'.
As Chastity he writes emo music in the vein of Cloud Nothings and (earlier) American Football. It’s melodic but has the sort of bite that can get a mosh pit going. Williams is content to let the quiet songs be quiet and the loud songs be loud. Songs don’t really climax the same way Cloud Nothings’ more incendiary ones do, which often leaves them feeling half-finished. Even when a quiet one leads into a loud one, like between ‘Dead Relatives’ and ‘Spirit Meetup’, it just feels quite jarring.
What’s more interesting is William’s lyrical content. On ‘Dead Relatives’ he sings that “there’s a special place in hell for the Christian right”, and the lyrics to ‘Anxiety’ are exactly what you imagine. Best is Williams bemoaning “austerity in my city, austerity in my country”, a pleasingly specific political critique of something that leave us all fucked up.
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