There’s a lot to be unpackaged from a band called themselves Sittingthesummerout. Not only does it represent frontman Samir Batista’s own distaste for the season, but it can say a lot when translated to the actual music as well, the sort of cold, dejected post-hardcore characterised – and often overblown – by a band like La Dispute.
That definitely seems to be some kind of starting block with new EP Brick And Mortar, as the Italian quintet brave the same emotional maelstrom that their stateside influences have become so adept at. And they do come strikingly close to out-and-out emulation at points, like on the twinkling, angular guitars of Nothing Changes In Baltimore and Dry, Dry June, or how Batista’s creaking, weather-worn vocals tumble over each other with a similar artless efficiency to Jordan Dreyer’s.
The influence isn’t exactly hidden, and between the poetic, overwritten nature of the lyrics and sharp pivots from gentle emo to more hoarse post-hardcore (particularly on the closer To Those Concerned), there’s little attempt made to obscure just how drastic that influence is. That’s not exactly a problem, especially for an early stage like this where they’re still finding their feet, but it’d be nice to see how far their own touches to go, or even just something that deviates from such a highly-defined model. They show hints of it here, like in an overtly more expansive hook on Nothing Changes In Baltimore that lends some greater solidity to the overall foundation, and is probably the best example of how Sittingthesummerout can leverage their sound in a way that gives them a bit more individuality.
As it stands now though, the ideas are there, and they’re executed to a degree that implies that Sittingthesummerout could eventually hit on something of their own that works for them. They’re not quite there yet, and if they keep holding so tightly to their influences as they do here, only time will tell how long it will take, but they certainly make their potential for growth known. Perhaps it’s a little premature to say how this could all end up, but it’s worth checking back next time to see how close they are to getting there.
For fans of: La Dispute, Touché Amoré, Pianos Become The Teeth
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘Brick And Mortar’ by Sittingthesummerout is out now on Ghost Factory Records.