End of a Year is a hardcore band based in Albany, New York. Although it is tagged as hardcore, it is not part of the current metal or thrash trend of the genre. In that sense, it is more of a punk band in the original meaning of the word: an artsy rock band that plays fast and loud and isn't too concerned with mainstream success. End of a Year played a community center show in Syracuse, NY a few weeks ago. The band rolled in a bit late, but quickly set up and launched into the first song as if band members had had a leisurely sound check. EOAY played some old songs and some new ones.
The singer has an interesting voice and although he jokes that he doesn't actually sing, it somehow works. Each band member writhed into the songs, including singer Patrick, whose energetic delivery had him rolling on the floor in front of the head-bobbing crowd. The band's live performance is heavier than its recorded material.
The band's current release is entitled Sincerely, released by Revelation Records in 2006. This eleven-song full length sounds reminiscent of the DC bands the musicians are inspired by. If you are familiar with Embrace, a post-Minor Threat, pre-Fugazi Ian MacKaye project, then you obviously recognize the band's name as an Embrace song title.
Clearly, the jewel of the release is the song "Beleaders." If EOAY had been signed to a larger label, this song would have been released as a single. Not only is the song driving and singable, but the lyrics are universal: "Something's missing, there's something missing/ I can't name it, I can't place it/ But I know it's gone/ I've tried girls and jobs, all that's left is drugs or god".
The singer's delivery expresses the angst of the lyrics. Other strong songs on this release include "Darnel," "You Better Work," and "Time Shares." These are driving hardcore songs. A line in the song "Darnel" represents the poetic flavor of the lyrics: "We took steel wool to our brains, but the memory remains".
The final song, "Above Ground Pools," is heavy, but it's hypnotic repetition of the words "something to be said" also make it singable. The lyrics on the liner notes are followed by band recommendations — songs by other bands and sometimes books. Unusual, yes, but the band chooses to tip its hat to its influences.
You can check out the band's music at its Myspace page.