We usually only focus on the full length releases but felt compelled to tell you (if you’re not already aware) of the latest essential EPs that have smashed our speakers to pieces last month!
Missouri brothers RADKEY released ‘Devil Fruit’ (8) to critical acclaim. And rightly so! The trio are steeped in the rich traditions of 70’s Punk Rock and their debut EP is loaded to the gills with driving riffery and bad boy snarl. Dee Radke’s chanted vocal belies his years and on cuts like ‘Overwhelmed’ and ‘Start Freaking Out’ his power resonates aside a serious collective attitude delivered through huge hooks and explosive songwriting. Lead track ‘Romance Dawn’ starts out slow before accelerating into life with a rush of energy and a central hook that will worm its way into your brain and stay there for weeks. One of the best tracks you’ll hear all year A more assured debut EP would be hard to find, with the promise of so much to come and an ethos to admire, these boys are ones to watch for sure. Cambridge 5-piece LONELY THE BRAVE also unleashed a debut EP ‘Backroads’ (9) last month. Suffice to say on this evidence their debut LP ‘The Days War’, due to drop soon, is probably going to be one of the hottest records of the year. Exuding charm and authenticity, their Rock expressionism is infectiously powerful, uplifting and emotively instantaneous. With phenomenal arena-filling vocals, ‘Deserter’ and ‘Black Saucers’ are the sort of fist-in-the-air life affirming anthems that should see fans stripped to the waist and clambering for space with their heroes next summer. And if they keep writing songs of raw passion and sheer beauty, like closing track ‘Hope There’s Someone’, nothing can stop them. Signed to Pure Noise Records, New Jersey’s GATES returned with a remastered version of 2012 EP ‘You Are All You Have Left To Fear’ (8). Version two has had a few wrinkles ironed out to become a much smoother affair, delivering euphoric post-hardcore to dispel those winter blues. It’s not breaking any moulds but carries enough substance to assure and pursuade, insisting on repeat spins. A consumate vocal leads an Emo / Math-Rock tinged rythmn section that floats effortlessly through a series of pained and edgy anthems. Not quite as ‘metal’ as Night Verses but darker than most, ‘They See Only Shadows’ and ‘The Sound of Letting Go’ stand tall with opened armed sing-a-longs and biting riffs. Despite its predictability, You Are All You Have Left To Fear is both muscular and assertive, with enough to captivate and draw us back in again and again. Alright so it only came out this week, but Comeback Kid vocalist Andrew Neufeld’s superb side project SIGHTS & SOUNDS are back with new material! And we’re just a little excited about it. After 09’s monumental Monolith, Neufeld and his brother Joel jumped at the chance to get back in the studio with cohorts Matt Howes, Adrian Mottram and David Grabowski to record ‘Silver Door’ (8); another slice of Punk infused post-hardcore that makes a powerful case to be as huge as their day job. Perhaps not as comprehensive as Monolith but no less entrancing, Silver Door has a monolithic core that shows the group has lost none of its crushing impact. Cuts like ‘Nothing At All’ and ‘Hold On Me’ are as epic as anything off of Monolith, displacing fears the project could not progress any further. With a true Rock underbelly and Neufeld’s tormented vocal, we’re taken down dark alleyways and through hidden doorways that are as menacing as they are bold and revealing. It’s on ‘Solo, So Low’ that they really cut-loose; with a creeping hook to get lost in and a secret agent persona, it’s riddled with agression and unanswered truths. Once again, impressive and immersive, Sights & Sounds we salute you!