Review Summary: UK Post-Hardcore starlets take the bar and snap it.
Never get a wolf’s attention by pulling its tail. Its sound advice really, though for one to even want to get a wolf’s attention in the first place suggests that the tail pulling part may not seem too unreasonable. The implications of danger and power are all there, the name of the band itself is dark and intense (or just plain silly, depending on your viewpoint), but does the UK outfit’s debut EP live up to all of this? You bet it does.
The EP aims straight for the jugular, securing a solid grip on said entity from the opening chords of ‘Empires’, showcasing the band’s ability to seamlessly blend intense screaming, emotive clean vocals and a knack for severely catchy instrumentation. Thankfully, the band continues to shine throughout the whole EP, demonstrating the many reasons for their sudden rise in popularity. Single ‘Thumbelina’s Story’ mixes old-school Escape the Fate-esque instrumentation and Page Avenue-era Story of the Year like vocals; add to that a pinch of Underoath, to create a powerful track brimming with energy and melody. Tracks like ‘Girl in Sheep’s Clothing’ showcase the band’s ability to create brilliant vocal harmonies, whilst ‘In The Event Of A Blackout’ features some hellish breakdowns. The highlight of the album, however, comes in the form of ‘Needle’, the ‘ballad’ of the album. Lead by a soaring guitar riff, the track gives the whole band a platform from which they can all shine, with huge guitar lines and glorious vocals; it is little wonder why Shadows Chasing Ghosts have taken the UK by storm in recent years.
On top of all this, the production value is fairly immense for the most part, allowing the band to shine to their full potential. It is clear to see that the EP is trying to break new ground in a dying genre, albeit unsuccessfully in parts, but for what it lacks at times in originality it makes up for in sheer quality. Vocalist Trey Tremain in particular shows throughout why he is one of the most talented vocalists in the genre, mixing his melodic singing voice with aggressive, stinging harsh vocals. This EP is, of course, just the tip of the iceberg, SCG have since toured the UK several times, and have also enjoyed stints in Europe and Australia with the likes of Haste The Day and Blessed (formerly Blessed By A Broken Heart) and with an debut LP and multiple tours across the world with bands such as MxPx already lined up for 2010, this year could well see a resurgence in Post-Hardcore around the world.