I Hate Sex – ‘Circle Thinking’ EP Review

Posted: by Sean Gonzalez

Edmonton quartet I Hate Sex are making a statement in the current Emo/Screamo scene. Circle Thinking bolsters extremely visceral vocals layered on top of rather raw sounding instruments. Taking a simplistic approach to making their music, I Hate Sex do not spend too much time layering multiple chords on top of each other, rather going for a more real and energetic live approach. Keep in mind the three instruments (bass, guitar and drums) that the group do utilize are mixed appropriately to be distinguishable from each other. The EP is available via Too Far Gone Records and Pint Sized Records this Friday, July 31st. 

Circle Thinking is an EP that is meant to knock people onto the floor as quick as possible. It’s like going to a shooting range, setting up the cans/bottles and then firing away. Seven songs clock in at a total of 18 minutes, staying away from longevity and focusing instead on making an impact. Each track delivers a sense of torture from Nicole’s wretched vocals approach. Hidden inside all of the music anguish lies melodic roots that shine through the rather destructive vibe. ‘I Fucking Hate Sports’ has a quintessential post-rock sounding groove with more clean sounding guitars, it’s the vocals that help bring out a different emotional toll on the track. The instrumentals are quite beautiful by themselves, really establishing a foundation for Nicole to force her voice into a fit of condensed screams. 

Even with a simplistic recording process, the band creates a healthy amount of dynamics to keep their songs memorable. This is found especially in the two longest songs, ‘San Francisco’ and ‘You + Me= Slipknot.’ The former is a tune relying on it’s slower pace bringing with it a constant build that releases through Nicole’s pain found in her lyrical lines. The latter closes out the EP with a ghastly ambiance and glowing guitar melodies. When I Hate Sex isn’t combining gorgeous dynamics together, they are viciously grooving along at full force. This is seen on lead single ‘Sleep Paralysis.’ While still creating a dissonance between guitar and bass, the more punk vibe song is kept in line by the tight drums. 

Circle Thinking is the culmination of everything done right in the screamo scene. It delivers on having an emotionally torn presence while embracing delicate melodies to go with. These delicacies are shaped into deliciously composed dynamics that could be seen as instrumentals on your favorite post-rock album. Is post-screamo a genre yet? If not, it might be lead by I Hate Sex. P.S. this Ep

Score: 8.5/10

Pre-order the album here! 

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