Sinai Vessel, an indie rock/punk trio out of the American south, have arranged six original and impressively written and executed songs for their latest EP titled Profanity. Independently released, Profanity takes one on a powerful tour of vocalist/guitarist Caleb Cordes' absorbing storytelling and world observations, with pit stops in the deeper mind and heart of hearts which exist within all of us but which Cordes' songs wear on their sleeves. To be sure, he never skimps on meaningful expression. Don't get me wrong, Sinai Vessel's songs, although once described by a fan as "punk for sissies," stand a far distance from over-sappy emo rubbish that sounds like so much other over-sappy emo garbage; instead, they employ a sound that is likened in their promo information to Dear and the Headlights, Weatherbox, and Pedro the Lion. I admittedly couldn't have come up with better comparisons.
Profanity opens with the track "Cats," a composition of half-distorted electric guitar that rises, crests, and then crashes down, a stuttering drumbeat (Daniel Hernandez) that suits the song well, equally fitting low-end (Joshua Herron). Cordes' vocals, which fluctuate from a smooth, rich flow to a sort of frayed, husky intensity. The lyrical content for "Cats" deals primarily with the superstitious delusions, religious oppression and hypocrisy that are so much a part of life in the South....or rather, just disillusionment with conventional living in general. "Cuckold," the third track, has an indie rock and punk edge somewhat like Frame and Canvas era Braid together with Sundressed. "Flannery," the fifth track, revisits the aforementioned religious topics over a combo of fuzzed-out and jangly guitar. And the closing song, "Index on the Oval," has a bouncy pattern that gives way to a slower part, and great personal lyrics which focus on perception and relationship while telling a story of sorts.
Sinai Vessel's Profanity, already available as a downloadable EP on Bandcamp, will be released on 12" vinyl this summer (including two new and previously unreleased tracks) by Don't Shoot the Messenger Promotions.