Jack The Envious – In Your Own Way

Jack The Envious are a London quartet formed, interestingly enough, during core members Nir Perlman and Guy Avnon’s respective military service. After recruiting bassist Guy Checkarov, the band set out to combine their experiences in the forces and band life, distilling it down to produce debut EP Pull You Down. Since the EP’s release, it would seem the band have sought to push themselves, combining punk stylings and a post-hardcore rush for maximum impact. With a string of successful local shows, the band is all set to release their sophomore EP In Your Own Way.

Straight off the bat, the band embrace a dark atmosphere with pulsing synths and music box sounds ascending before they kick in with Shut It Off. It’s a fine start to the EP with a tectonic opening riff, coming across with the same snarling energy that My Chemical Romance embraced on their first couple of records. Single Begging For More starts with choppy acoustics before the songs signature riff makes way for a hooky chorus, vocalist Perlman sounding like a hybrid of The Used’s Bert McCracken and The Movielife’s Vinnie Caruana.

The mix on the EP is strong, the guitars sitting well and creating memorable, anthemic parts and also huge backdrops for Perlman’s snarling vocal jabs. This is demonstrated no better than on the thunderous Guilty which comes complete with a stomping breakdown section and Letlive-esque spoken word part which helps set the song apart from formulaic hardcore structure.

The album closes things off with Never Look Down which is possibly the strongest offering here. The track builds from its ethereal intro and goes onto incorporate the best parts of the record, including huge reverberant guitar lines, gutsy vocals and another huge chorus. As only the second offering from Jack The Envious,  In Your Own Way makes it clear that the band are determined to prove themselves as unique commodity of the British music scene. They stand to make their mark with this dynamic and energetic EP.

Pierce The Veil – Misadventures

The long awaited follow-up to 2012’s Collide With The Sky is here in the form of Misadventures and this time Pierce The Veil are back with a vengance and a list of points to prove.

The first taste of the album released back in summer last year was The Divine Zero, which PTV dropped with no real announcement or teasing at all as they went off on their headlining Warped Tour for the whole of the journey. This track got a good reception in general and people had huge faith in the new efforts in the band for what was to come. The song has turned out to be the most Collide-esque track on the whole record and would have fit immaculately into its tracklist with its fierce breakdown and huge amount of screamed vocals and it makes for a fantastic track in general.

The record as a whole features fewer screams than anticipated by many fans, but shows off Vic’s vocal range and Tony’s guitar solos to make up for it. Many of the lines throughout the tracks are backed up with a lead guitar harmony instead of the more common method of backing vocals adopted by most bands, most notably on Floral and Fading. 

Elsewhere in the album, there are fewer breakdowns which leads to a few more emotive tracks (moved from the likes of Hell Above and King for a Day from the previous release to Song For Isabelle and Floral & Fading on this), though there is a pretty heavy track in Phantom Power and Ludicrous Speed and a screamed breakdown in Sambuka, plus the odd moment here and there which together almost make up for the sparser dusting of heaviness throughout the other tracks.

In terms of the drumming, Mike has kept up the tradition of sharp, technical drumming on a huge kit which brings an extra depth to all of the tracks as he crafts the perfect mood with cymbals and kicks in the heavier and angrier parts and toms in the more melodic, vocal numbers like Song For Isabelle; his ability to create a tenderness through hitting things is rare amongst the drumming community nowadays.

Standout tracks are The Divine Zero for being the most PTV-esque track on the record, Phantom Power and Ludicrous Speed for the fun of it and Sambuka for the breakdown which is technical guitar-wise and a great mosh point of the record.

Overall, Misadventures seems a bit safe for the band; there are few brutal moments but the sheer emotion of most of the tracks makes up for it with ease. Considering Tony’s accident during the writing/recording process just before Warped Tour last year, the record has come out immaculately and it will be interesting to see how it fares in the charts!