Review by: Zach Kinney
The experimental rock artist Siiickbrain strikes with a brand new EP, Ashtray For Your Agony. The EP features six very unique tracks that try out different styles in each one, while keeping the core feel of their sound. Ashtray For Your Agony is out on Friday, December 10th, so stay tuned and check it out!
The opening track, Destructible, starts with lots of reverb over the vocals and a very smooth and clean guitar riff. The drums come in and add more depth, before the bass comes in. The difference here is the bass comes above any other instrument in the mix, and it has much less reverb. It creates a beautiful contrast. In the pre-chorus, a guitar with distortion comes in to match the bass line, and seamlessly crescendos into the chorus. The chorus features vocals that make you feel like you wanna scream the lyrics along with her. The lyrics of the song depict lots of struggle with mental health, like “wake me up, cause I wanna get away from the trauma, can any one make this better,” and “I felt so indestructible but now I feel out of control.”
The next track, I’m Sick, combining genre with a trap beat, electronics, and powerful and strained vocals. There’s also contrast with quiet and clean vocals in the intro and pre chorus singing a smooth melody, and the strained vocals rapping. All together, this track makes it impossible to not move to. Whether it’s head banging to the vocals or bobbing around with the trap beat you are moving with the song!
Problem Child is a much softer track. It features an acoustic guitar riff with a quiet bassline. The vocals are very soft but melodic. There are also backing vocals higher than the melody that provide more depth. The lyrics depict feeling abandoned because of picking favorites. Trying your hardest but not getting attention is a hard thing in not only family, but with everyday life such as careers. You might be fighting for a promotion, but they pick favorites. Because of this, it’s easy to relate too.
Dopamine has a guest appearance, with Maggie Lindemann joining with her vocals. The songs have heavy bass that I can imagine would be so cool at a concert! Maggie’s high voice and Siiickbrain’s lower voice blend wonderfully in this track. Siiickbrain also uses more of her strained screams in this track to create even more vocal diversity.
While rock and metal are my primary genres, I also have a love for electronic music. Overdrive meshes the two perfectly. It’s got a classic EDM backing track, with Siiick singing a melody, higher background vocals similar to Problem Child’s, and using her strained vocals with a glitch effect to blend into the backing track, a perfect way to make her voice part of the instrumentals. The end of the song keeps the theme of blending the genres, by making the EDM a breakdown, and only using her strained voice to say “life’s a game we won’t survive,” which continues the album's lyrical theme of mental health.
The EP’s final song, and title track is Fragile (Ashtray For Your Agony). It opens straight into a groovy bassline, repeating for a few measures. A ticking sound is used before hitting the chorus, which has many layers of vocals creating a whole range and lots of depth. This song utilizes primarily just bass and vocals, with drums joining the chorus. Despite only having two tonal instruments, this layering of vocals fills multiple voice parts. One of the layers is her sick scream that fades into the instrumentals. The song is very interesting to listen to because of the amount of layers. Each part is unique and blends into a beautiful whole.
Siiickbrain did a great job at experimenting with this EP. It is so unique to see how she meshed everything together so seamlessly. The lyrical theme of the album hits home to many, especially after the pandemic. Struggling with mental health and self sabotage is a very hard thing to overcome, and Siiickbrain used the canvas of music to express this. The beauty of music is how universal it is, and I hope those who relate to these songs see how powerful Siiickbrain is, and are inspired by her incredible work. Ashtray For Your Agony is out everywhere on December 10th, so make sure to give it a listen and show your support Siiickbrain.