When one imagines the sound of an upcoming hardcore, metal, or punk band, the characterization can often be brought back to the one-word descriptor of “loud.” This would not be an inaccurate depiction of Extinction Notice, the second EP by So It Goes. However, one of many things that sets this project apart from others of its ilk are the striking moments of silence. The first track of the project, “Cop-Out Machine,” starts with 11 seconds of pure quiet before a quick guitar lick. Then pulse-pounding drums kick in and the song takes off. That silent preface may not sound like much, but it lulls listeners into a false sense of security before a project full of unexpected turns.
Songs on this project switch between tone, pace, volume, and style on a whim, to the point that, at times, I had to double check that I was listening to the same song. It makes an already exciting project more invigorating, more alive, because it keeps a listener on the edge of their proverbial seat. The songs also each flow into each other very naturally, making the 17 minute runtime fly by.
Lyrically, subject-wise, the project invokes images of an apocalypse, life after and life during the eponymous extinction. The cover of the EP depicts a sullen desert, still teeming with life. It feels ominous and a bit hopeful at the same time. The song titles themselves (“People Over Profit” for example) provide an ample amount of insight into the concepts at play here, so if you like your underground music with a healthy dose of social consciousness, this is highly recommended.
The sounds of Extinction Notice have something for everyone: heavy concepts for your left brain, heavy, sludge-tinged guitar for the right brain. But the parts that still speak to me are the silence: pauses between harsh instrumentals, fading up and out into oblivion. The very end of the EP’s closer, “Portland,” slows down into a droning, singular note before picking up and then eventually going completely silent, ending in the same way the project begins. The guitar here sounds indisputably triumphant, but that single droning note evokes the pure terror of an air raid siren. As if to say, “something terrible is coming.” As if to ask, what does a bomb sound like to those struck? In an era full of “doom metal,” “doom folk” “doomers,” etc, what evokes a purer sense of inescapable fate and defeat than great chaos giving way to…
nothing. Complete silence.
Listen to Extinction Notice here: https://open.spotify.com/album/4suX63Kst1SUnZcLPlnMnp?si=LEt3LVH0T4qFnZfds4Vb6Q