Label: Endless/Nameless Records (CD) / I’ve Come For Your Children (vinyl)
The Absent Trail of an Echo and my Future Plagued by Surrender is a title almost as long as the EP by Gauge Means Nothing. The Japanese screamo band only released two records – this EP, and a split with Singapore band My Previous – but despite their short life as a band, they demonstrated a whole world of opportunities within their sound, with this EP including extended keyboard sections; black-metal riffing; and charmingly off-key dual male and female vocals. It’s a unique sound, and one that could only ever have been an niche concern, even within the hardcore underground.
It was also, for quite some time, one of my favourite records. It’s hardly an easy listen – the songs are filled with ideas, and not all of them fit together well. Likewise, the productions is just on the right side of DIY-raw, but when the female clean vocals and brighter movements come to the fore, they can be a bit too loud in the mix. But for every moment it doesn’t work, there’s ten where it does, and a few moments of absolute brilliance.