UNDER THE RADAR: CHARMS – “Siren”.
There are few bands that are as loud, manic, and inventive as Charms. Over the past few years, the band has built up a reputation for their fiery live performances, complete with visuals by projectionist Kevin Blanquies, and for a while, that was the only way to hear the band’s music.
Earlier this year they released their debut LP, Human Error, finally giving fans some of that brutal energy to take home with them.
The album’s lead single, “Siren”, does an apt job of capturing what the band is about. In many ways, it’s the quintessential Charms song. Opening with the chime of vocalist EJ Tolentino’s guitar, the song quickly devolves into madness. The rumbling synth-bass swarms around the clattering drums, both escalating the tension more and more until the song feels like it’s ready to snap. Then it does. Again and again. Even Tolentino’s shivering vocals feel like they’re dodging the shrapnel from the band’s dense instrumental.