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Album Review
These are the End Times

These are the End Times
by The Sing Songs


Review Date
15th March, 2011
Reviewed by
Courtney Sanders

The Sing Songs are complicated. They grew up as Christians, and now they’re not. Their music sounds all choral and cutesy, but if you listen properly, it’s not. It’s these ambiguity’s that make them, and their debut album, These Are The End Times, so endearing. Nihilism never sounded so sweet.

Five members who all grew up in Hamilton in equally conservative households, The Sing Songs have always imbued their musical output with commentary regarding their upbringing. There was ‘Pamphlet Baby’ on their EP Sing Five Songs, about crazy women who deliver junk mail in prams, or the simple fact that when performing they wear angelic outfits while delivering sharp, agnostic statements. This past has lead them to now, which has lead them to a concept album about that most Christian of concerns, The End Times, The Rapture, and more broadly, guilt.

The opening track ‘End of Days’ begins with a mesmerizing harmony stating “Are you filled with joy/Are you filled shame/Do you want to know/If the trumpet sounds your name” before exploding into an upbeat, xylophone extravaganza proceeding to sarcastically explain-slash-destroy the subject matter of the song and the story. However, if you don't pay attention, you would be forgiven for thinking The Sing Songs were actually pumped about what they’re singing. It’s this subtlety that makes their whole deal so successful, and when you see them live, and there’s a bunch of people who haven’t quite got there with said intricacies wondering WTF is going on, it’s not only successful, but extremely hilarious.

Much of the rest of the album deals with guilt-by-association, with lyrics like “I am scared of pregnancy” (‘Rapture’) and cute and for the most part (I think), serious tracks about crushes and relationships and the like wrapped in naïve, youthful statements like “My science teacher said it shouldn’t be this way”. The interplay between the musicality and lyrical sentiment is eloquent, too. Simple, child like percussive elements cement xylophone melodies, maraca’s and triangles in a high school musical vibe, which is not to say that the forethought or sonic execution itself is rudimentary, rather that to create a sound that accompanies the thematic countenance they have restrained their capabilities to a bare, youthful minimum.

This is the End Times makes you question, then think, then laugh, which is not only what I imagine was their point, but also an appropriate thought process for such philosophical concerns.


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