And Then Adversity Persists (1998)

I have several confessions to make before I begin:
  • I'm sixteen.
  • I have an exam in an hour.
  • I am notorious for tagging along with Mommy on shopping trips and spending hours sifting through the electronics department of the local Zellers or Shoppers Drug Mart.
  • It's a huge, efficient waste of time, but I've found gems like Guilty by Association (2004, State of Shock), the following, and the no-longer printed Stutterfly debut for less than $6.
  • (c) 1998 DeMuzik Entertainment
    Genre: industrial, synth rock, electronic, alternative

    "... And Then": The intro piece begins with generic synth, a sci-fi movie sort of sound, layered beneath warped speech.

    "Adversity Persists": Is actually very strong, once again a soundtrack to an action movie (choc full of fast black cars, spies, and mindblowing gadgets). The vocals are reminiscent of a breathy, calm Trent Reznor. "Fantasize, I think I know your name", John B. Simon (under the moniker, Seven Theory Nine) screeches in a whisper.

    "Eternal For Now": There's no coincidence And Then Adversity Persists was constructed during the peak of industrial in the mid-90s. If this track weren't so successful in replicating NIN sounds, I'd write Simon off as a wannabe. However, in addition to the progressive, spacial atmosphere lifted from the Cleveland scene, "EFN" possesses a glorious bridge section. The vocals shoot an octave at about 3:20, followed by an impressive interlude. And he's clever enough to end it on that high note, without bringing the chorus back for another round.

    "Last Candle": Upon a :45 minute modified bass-riff of an intro,
    Say, what you wanna say, to me. To me.
    Do, what you wanna do, to me. To me.
    Filthy syncopation ensues. My god, do I adore that bass ostinato- it's not even complex, just effective in paving the groundwork for Despereaux. Brings back the voice from "... And Then" briefly.

    "Under Down Under": The intro, which is strangely ingenious. Otherwise, this minimalist movement is casually underwhelming down under at first listen. There's a soaring string melody, ending prematurely at 4:00, where the remaining minute-and-a-half is heavily rhythmic, but nothing more. "Weird".

    "The Burden of Truth": Familiar sounding mid-section siren. Perfect ambiance vibe for our spy-action flick/much-anticipated stoner party. Its one lyric is slightly destructive/destracting, though.

    "Sustained By Her": Another good riff provides melodic interest halfway through the album. This track is much more rock-orientated, calling to mind Moist, Deftones, Tool, etc. Minus any screaming, of course. It's open to discussion whether this is a love song or a drug song. Beautifully dissonant piano ending.

    "Sad But True" (mp3*): One of my personal favourites. "Sad But True" has a windblown sort-of theme. It's difficult to describe, but take a listen yourself. Simon's poetics, though taking the backburner in this project, are first-rate.

    [Flash 9 is required to listen to audio.]

    "Subsequent Behavior": Straight from the liner notes,
    I love that thing I love that thing I love that thing you do why don't you do it to me? do it to me.

    "Numb": Lyrically, there is a connection between this track and "Last Candle". Artistically, the highlight is Simon's photography subject. (My scanner isn't working, so here's a blurry photo instead.)
    An iron? Really?

    "Bet You Can't Say That Again": I feel as if the buildup on "BYCSTA" is slightly off-tempo. Although it's probably intentional, it's unaffecting all the same... my ears are simply not in agreement.

    "Easy Damage" (mp3*): For a record that is already heavily rhythm- based, this percussive track takes it to a new level. The stops, scratches, and fluctuating dynamics are golden, not to mention the exceptional opening verse and its fourth line repeated throughout.
    Delivering our shit into a new age
    Delivering our shit into a new age
    Like children defecating in the shrine
    There's no such thing as easy damage
    Thank you

    "Comfortable Sorrow": In contrast to its predecessor, "Comfortable Sorrow" is toned down melancholy with those same throaty vocals as on "Adversity Persists". I think this is about as tame as Simon gets. Surprisingly, there's a symphonic Eastern-pop sound to match the acoustic strumming and downbeat rimshots. Nonetheless, its absurd misplacement wins the "most-alluring" title. Who knew, eh?

    "Until Hope": Dino Pacifici, an ambient musician from Montreal, contributes to this 10:22 composition of dripping-tap torture turned metallic bliss. (The only entirely instrumental tune.) Canada represent.

    *currently seeking to authorize the distribution of these mp3 files. If the owner of their rights would like to see them removed, please contact me immediately.

    I'm also currently in the process of finding some of Simon's more recent undertakings. From dancehall interludes ("Under Down Under") to rock infusions ("Adversity Persists", "Sustained By Her") its synthwave finale ("Until Hope"), And Then Adversity Persists really is something.

    LIYL Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode.

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