Everyday Sidekicks – Hope [EP]

The post-hardcore group launch straight into the EP with the track Glass House, which, although starting in a pop punk style, thematically evolves into something more alternative which produces a post-hardcore sound by the end. It’s immediately clear that Everyday Sidekicks aren’t just an average group; the band’s music is more complex, with varying guitar melodies sitting over the top of the noisy chord progression, discernible but not overpowering. Glass House is the latest single to be released from Hope.

Bury Your Friends is the second track, and this sees the group experiment more with effects. The tone for the track is set with the lone guitar, but then in comes the riff and screamed vocals and disrupts the listener’s assumptions. However the vocals are mixed between screaming and singing, something a lot of post punk and post hardcore bands do but only some pull off well: Everyday Sidekicks is one of the latter.

Fracture, the lead single, starts off sounding more metal than any of the other tracks so far. However, when the verse starts and the guitars split off between the melody and rhythm is when the listener starts to hear the post-hardcore influences in the track.

Lacuna is the other experimental track on Hope. It is the sole instrumental track on the album, but is a beautiful piece of music. The sound effects are used to enhance the music and the mix is balanced just right.

Saving the best track for last, Everyday Sidekick present Business Secrets of the Pharoahs. The track immediately starts with a catchy guitar riff typical of metal, however, much like the other tracks on the EP, there is an underlying melody that pushes the genre towards post hardcore instead. This melody becomes more prevalent in the second verse and bridge. This track is the heaviest on the EP, and would be amazing live.

Overall, Hope is a really well presented EP with great artwork, talent from the group and is mixed and mastered really well. The sound effects, when they are used, enhance the overall sound of the tracks contained within the EP and the listener can easily imagine a great stage show to go with the songs.

[9/10]

Sparrows- Let The Silence Stay Where It Was Review

Sparrows are a Post-Punk/Hardcore outfit from Toronto, Canada. Their EP from the early part of last year, Dragging Hell received quite a lot of praise for the breath of fresh air it brought toward the Emo Revival scene. Now 6 days after the release of their sophomore full length Let The Silence Stay Where It Was, Sparrows seem to have created an album which show cases parts of what made that EP what it was.

The opening tSparrows Album Coverrack of the full length Three Four Two Five, Three Four Two Five, sets a strong precedent for the rest of the album and rings true of what made the Dragging Hell EP so good. Through Dan Thomson’s strong vocal delivery there is a clear tone set for the album as consistently these raw and passionate vocals echo through to the end run time of not only each song but also the completed album.

The Written Rules of Choking and Carrying On With a Modern Lifespan carry on this sophomore record and something notably is clear in these tracks through the way they showcase the softer melodic parts that Sparrows are capable off, but also the wall of sound that presses up against the vocals, similar to how it did in Dragging Hell.

Like most of this album the song speaks so truthfully about the bad year Sparrows had last year and filled with frustration the angst is clear through Thomson’s vocal delivery.

Cave Eater, being released earlier alongside a cover of Failure’s Sergeant Politeness, is the lead single on this album and it was a song which showed the potential this album had. The songs juxtaposing instrumentation allowed a clear indication towards the changes Sparrows had been through in the past year. Yet there is something about this track that feels slightly underwhelming almost as if Sparrows haven’t played all their cards yet.

If We Make It Over The Mountain and Teething follow and they are two of the biggest contrasts in the entire album, not necessarily because of content but because Teething is notably the weakest song yet If We Make It Over The Mountain is the strongest track on the entire album. However saying Teething being the weakest track isn’t actually a bad thing as this song still punches through with the crashing riffs that Sparrows are so accustomed to. Yet If We Make It Over The Mountain, just from the opening cements itself as the strongest track with its more uptempo beat, created by Jon Busby’s stellar drumming, and strong musical presentation from the entire band.

The final set of songs on the album perfectly tie the album to what is a satisfying end, with the way in which during Fire In The House Of The Lord, Sparrows are at their most melodic vocally and instrumentally before a slow build to where they are at their most chaotic. However in Tinnitus and Our Saviour Left Us For Dead there is something missing that is present in Wake The Red Sky Season and Fire In The House Of The Lord, whether it is the instrumentation isn’t up to par or the fact that the vocals come across more raw and honest.

This album has given a good point for Sparrows to move on from. However there isn’t much that makes this full length stand out against everything that has thus far come out this year. The album has a great casing, its beginning and end, yet the middle section of the record feels quite lackluster in its entirety, despite each song’s own personal high moments. Yet with the carefully placed harmonies and well-crafted lyrics backed up with the powerful instrumentation this album is one worth listening to, but it also makes Sparrows a band to watch in the future.

[6/10]

Newmoon – Space [REVIEW]

With some heightened shoegaze and indie rock, Newmoon aim to make headway with their debut record ‘Space’. Every band with a debut record has a chance to show why they should become the next talked about artist of their genre and with this record it will definitely garner some attention in their field.

If you look at the genre of shoegaze from its broad perspective, is that its a subgenre of indie rock and alternative rock, which you get those strong influences in this album from top to bottom. With the first song being the first single, ‘Helium’ invokes a lot of the trippy style elements from prog rock/psychedelic rock as well, especially with the vocals. Whilst the vocalist sounds somewhat bored of his own lyrical content, the songs on this record work really well with that vocal style. That point is exemplified with ‘Skin’ as the verses go on a slower softer route which lets you hear their trance-like tones within their singing.

Whilst nearly all the tracks are long, it really helps with their style of post-punk feeling due to how other-worldly their instrumentation is. The first few tracks follow the same music structure but as it progresses, their chances to experiment and produce something to please your senses. The slow tempos intertwined with the bombastic distortion on the guitars are something enjoyable and even add to the melodies that are given their own time to shine. ‘One Thousand’ does this in spades being the longest song on the record.

For their debut record, they’ve come out swinging and whilst it might not be the cult classic that will always be with certain bands, they’ve set themselves a bar to reach for their next musical endeavour. It might not be the A* you come across, but the record still brings something to enjoy.

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Released: 14th October 2016
For Fans Of: Silversun Pickups / Explosions In The Sky
Label: PIAS